I prefer to be alone. I’m often not, at least physically, but my mind always tends to be. This can make interaction awkward, tiring, and disjointed. Conversation happens, movement happens, vehicles and the tools of the adventure combine, but they run a parallel race to what transpires in my mind. I’ve always been this way, it’s always been this way. Even during a good merger with fellow humans, I’m often thinking of the moment when I can break away and assess what transpired. Making notes, or just having a quiet think.
I don’t search for drama in my life. There is enough already. A broken furnace, canceled flights, an ailing parent. The natural world, once engaged beyond the screen, has a way of neutralizing the nonsense and artificial drama of the modern world. It either works being here or it does not. Many folks talk of places like this but rarely go. (thankfully) Or once there, they dip their toe then retreat to the safety of comfort, routine, room service, email, or the streaming service of choice. It’s far easier to turn inward than give yourself to what lives out there, out beyond where the demons are.
As a child, I was dropped in the middle of nowhere. Rifle, binoculars, canteen, and notepad to track breeding patterns of Angus beef. The glass pack Chevy pulling away, small tornados of dust swirling up from all terrains as my leather-soled boots crunched gravel underfoot. Glassing the hills for hours, plinking prairie dogs as afternoon storms blew out of the mountains and across the high-altitude plains. It was heaven. No, it was better than that because it was real, in front and around me, and it left a residue I can’t begin to deny.
Open space gives and takes away.