The Solace of the Open Road



I was in Salt Lake City on Election Night, the first leg of a cross-country road trip with my son Zack who is headed back to Brooklyn. The day began so innocently and ended in a nightmare. The next morning, still in shock, we commiserated with his friends then drove south to Moab, somber and subdued. My list of tasks – updating my blog about the recent wedding we attended, checking in with my agent about my book, my recent article that was published – seemed insignificant and small compared to what lies ahead for our country.

Today we followed the upper Colorado River on Highway 128 as we headed to Denver. Towering sandstone cliffs surrounded us as the road curved along the gorge. The river was smooth and still on the surface but if you looked closely, you could see swirling eddies and currents just below. The scenery provided diversion and we talked about all things non-political: his path as an artist, ideas for a new art project, my ruminations about work. We unplugged from news media as the aftermath was too much to bear. There was no NPR or radio, only podcasts and books on CD. At night in the motel, we watched a rerun of Good Fellas and quickly skipped over news channels.

But inevitably, we always return to the topic of the election and what it means for the future. There are no good answers and no explanations. There is just angst and disbelief and the fear that safety nets will be dismantled. The only comfort is the open road and the deep blue sky and I wonder how it seems possible to have such beauty in the world still, when everything else is falling apart.


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