Friday, July 29, 2016

Interstate Tesseract

And I was just getting up,
hit the road before it's light
Trying to catch an hour on the sun...
(Neil Young)

On Monday, my oldest sons and I drove up the interstate  towards their Oregon habitations, and yesterday I drove back to our California mountain home.  Interstate 5 has become archetypical in our family's life, like Mark Twain's Mississippi.   It has paragraphed major life changes -- the first time I drove down with my future husband to meet his family, which of course was not the first time he had travelled that road; the trips with small children, embarked upon late in the afternoon so they would sleep through the bulk of the 11 hour trip; the first time stopping to meet the Bryan family; the trips laden with spare houswares to set up my oldest's first apartment.

How odd to think about -- all those past selves, "lines in the field of time".     Still there, because how could things that once existed go away completely?

I picture a tesseract, as in Interstellar. ... a hyper-geometric figure of that long, slender, straw-colored corridor of traffic, unfolding to glimpses of those past moments.   I can't communicate with those former versions of family, driving along to their destinations in a Ford Pinto, or a Toyota Corona, or a Chevy Suburban, or a Nissan Quest, or a Dodge Durango, but they can communicate with me, in a way.   At least, they were present to me on this trip.

Maybe it was because we had recently had an extended family reunion, and it was like a time warp to see so many nieces and nephews grown and carrying on their adult lives.  It could have been because this particular family gathering went viral, literally, as one by one we came down with the norovirus.    Being sick for several days has a way of making time eddy strangely, as does travelling.   As do family reunions.

Anyway, for some reason, maybe because I was driving with only my two oldest sons and thus not as distracted as usual, I started blogging in my head, for the first time in forever.    I used to blog in my head often, but I rarely have done in the past couple of years.  Not sure why.  It wasn't a conscious decision.    It would go like this, at intervals of every few months:

--Self, do you have anything to blog about?
--Not really.
--Okay, then.
 But on this trip, the posts kept composing themselves.    I don't want to ignore them.


I would love to hear your thoughts on this!