Around the Bend

April 21, 2008

willow bank

 E.g. has her new blog title. When the Big Bad Science Museum huffed and puffed away her right to her title, numerous virtual hugs and sympathetic harrumphs were sent her from both her regulars and mine. Their comments cheered her considerably, and she finally sat down after supper yesterday to follow Goodbear’s advice, which was to think of her favourite journey and find a symbol in it.

E.g. decided that to her, the journey itself is at least as important as the destination. So she reviewed her photos of roads and hiking trails and boardwalks, and Jack and I refused to take Cai out until some name clicked. “The Crooked Mile?” Not metric enough. “The Long and Winding Road”? Trite. “Road to Rivendell”? Doesn’t express the techno side too well. “Footprints in the Air”? Not piscean enough. “Fred”? Some other day, maybe. “Fiddling Out of a Barn?” That’s enough beer for one night.

Finally, E.g. had a new blog title, like an unfamiliar wine. She sniffed it cautiously, sipped it, closed her eyes, rolled it around on her tongue, let it seep in, and pronounced it good. Jack accompanied her as she chose and cropped a different photo for her title bar, and then she wrote a lovely Thank-you/Introductory entry while Jack and Cai and I busied ourselves with bedtime business. You’re all invited to the housewarming — just click on the unwound road on my sidebar.

Gillian’s small heartsearching task last night has me wondering. What’s my own attitude regarding the importance of a destination versus the importance of the journey? This question probably needs more reflection, but so far I think I most agree with her in the literal sense of walking and hiking. I like to look around, admiring the leaves, smiling at the toadstools, waving to the chipmunks. I tend to walk quickly, but I’d rather walk than cycle or drive, rather snowshoe than snowmobile, rather cross-country ski than downhill.

In the more figurative sense, however, I do like to know where I’m going. I’ve been chief planner for our past several vacations. What is there to see? Where are the hostels? How many hours would we have to drive on this day? On which days is that museum closed? All those details, from the broadest to the pickiest — I love planning them. Am I showing a greater interest in process or objective, in journey or destination?

E.g. and I have been discussing several possible changes to our family situation lately. It’s occasionally been hard going, with the hardest unknown for me being not the “how” or even the “when”, but the “if”. At last, though, all the ifs have been answered, and I can relax a little. I’ll settle down now and enjoy the hike with E.g., watching for the next blaze, happily discovering what’s just around the next bend.