Will J. J.

Day-to-day musings and occasional short stories for your delight.


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Car Window

Car Window

 

Hey guys,

 

Today I wanted to share a poem I’ve been working on. I had a thought recently about the very essence of riding in a car, and how much that has changed for me since I was a little boy. This poem is a translation of that thought’s conclusion. Hope you enjoy it 🙂

 

Car Window

 

Gazing through to the world beyond,

The glass window, ever beside you,

Cruising down the winding asphalt,

Hills and plains rolling gently past.

 

Shifting focus to sights nearby,

A patch of grass, by the roadside,

A branching tree, atop the green.

At last, you draw them into view,

Out of the constant blur of speed,

Reaching out to them with your eyes,

A lone moment of clarity,

Before they’re gone, swept behind you.

 

Your gaze drifts into the distance,

Houses clustered, etching the bluffs,

Faraway mountains, standing tall,

Massive cities, sprawling and bright.

Passing slowly, distant landmarks,

As if you were barely moving.

 

Riding up familiar roadways,

Fingers tracing along the glass,

On the cold, wintry weather days.

Every bump and turn, routine,

The daily trip you know so well.

New, unknown routes still excite you,

Concrete webbed for thousands of miles,

Skirting peaks and dodging water.

 

Years pass, your position changes,

Passenger to watchful driver,

Your gaze forward, the road ahead,

Fewer moments to peer aside,

Allowing your mind to wander,

And take in the beautiful view.

 

But when you do, so seldom now,

You recall that soothing feeling,

The world passing, both fast and slow.

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Why I Love Long Drives

Day 3005

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            This past weekend, I took a short trip to my hometown to see some family. On Sunday, as I blankly sat in traffic on the return trip, I started thinking back on many of the long drives I’ve taken in my life, and I realized something pretty interesting: I have never arrived at any destination feeling the same as I did when I first set out.

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            Growing up, my grandparents lived 500 miles away at the southernmost tip of Texas, and I used to visit them every so often. I grew up an only child, so any chance to see my relatives was more than welcome. Every time we had to leave their house, I was devastated, and I remember on one occasion sobbing uncontrollably as I waved goodbye from inside the car. I recall thinking in that childish fit of emotion that I would never feel happy again, but as the orange fields and palm trees gradually gave way to endless prairie and desert, I started feeling better. There was something about the hypnotic view just outside my window that soothed me and told me that everything would be alright, even if I didn’t understand it right then.

            Perhaps the most memorable journey I’ve taken is the 200-mile drive between my hometown, Fort Worth, and Austin. I’ve always had family in Austin, and I attended The University of Texas at Austin, so I’ve made this trip countless times over the years. Those 200 miles have become something of a friendly trail for me, and as I have grown, so has that trail’s meaning. I remember excitedly packing the car for all sorts of trips back and forth, but the memories that stand out most powerfully are the trips that began more somberly. Whether it was just a sentimental reaction to leaving home, the emotion of saying goodbye to someone special in Fort Worth, or something else entirely, it seemed like almost every drive back to Austin during my college years began wistfully.

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             But as sadly as those drives began, my perspective always shifted over the course of the journey. With each curve of the highway, my jumbled thoughts cleared slightly. The emotion of the moment was replaced with a view of the bigger picture, and without fail, by the time I reached Austin I was left with a sense of resolve and a renewed focus on my path ahead.

 

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            There is just something about a long drive that’s so beautiful. Maybe it’s the rare opportunity to reflect within yourself, or maybe it’s the sense of the world passing all around you, but it never fails to give me a new outlook.