A wonderful Mary Oliver quote.
Photo: Wandering the Southwest
A wonderful Mary Oliver quote.
Photo: Wandering the Southwest
I’ve been writing about that urge to roam. To travel freely. Unencumbered. To experience the world through the lens of constant motion.
My first post in this series introduced the terms “Dromomania” and “Drapetomania,” which placed this desire squarely in the medical model for disease. The word “disease” itself has been defined as: “a condition of the living animal or plant body, or of one of its parts, that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms” that is “not simply a direct result of physical injury.” A disease has also been said to be “a particular quality, habit, or disposition regarded as adversely affecting a person or group of people.”*
And there are four main types of disease: infectious, deficiency, hereditary, and physiological diseases. Diseases can be communicable or non-communicable, and when we have absolutely no idea what causes one, we call it “idiopathic.”
And let’s not forget mental or psychogenic diseases.
In fact, the suffix “mania,” in dromomania and drapetomania, arguably places the old terminology squarely in that category of mental illness.
So, is the compulsion to flee, to explore, to wander the world, a mental disorder? And what are those so-afflicted fleeing from?
Picking up where I left off yesterday . . .
We’ve all heard the stories of Cortez conquering the Aztecs and Pizzaro conquering the Incas, but we often only hear the stories of those who are regarded as conquerors. The victors. Even if their acts were entirely atrocious and inhumane.
History is distorted that way.
I often write about my travels and the things I experience while traveling. The adventure of it. 😊 Particularly getting back to Nature and hiking in the wilderness. Something I do whenever possible. And the urge to travel, or to continue traveling once on the road, is always at the surface.
Lingering, like a Tiger ready to pounce on its prey.
Frankly, I like that feeling. For it drives me to drive. Gives me reason and purpose. An impetus to greet Grandfather Sun each day.
Storms don’t exactly sneak up on you in the Midwest. Unless you’re sleeping.
They hem and haw. Fronts drift in. Stagnate. Advance. Stall. Pick up again. Sort of unfold in slow-mo.
Certainly not like the Thunder Boomers out West.
Although we do get that occasional freight train. Those tornadic, counter-clockwise winds that sweep in so fast no one can prepare. In fact, if you witness them, it is sort of hypnotizing. Like a snake hypnotizes its prey.
For the average storm here, the wind picks up, the temperature drops, and sometimes, you can see that clearly demarcated line of clouds advancing. That gray-blue, dark-clouded front-line meeting clear, blue sky, perhaps with its wisps of white cirrus clouds. But it’s when the temperature drops that you really know it’s about to hit.
Along with that unmistakable fragrance that suddenly permeates the atmosphere.
Intro: I wrote this story back in 1993, describing some of my time on the road between 1978 and 1980. I had packed up and bugged out after a little run-in with the law.
Something sparked the memory, and I dug out a copy of the publication it appeared in at the time – “Out Your Backdoor.”
I found it fun to look back at my writing style then. Not that much different from today.
I was trying to break into freelance writing and looking for small publications that would pick up an article – payment was usually a couple copies of the newsletter, magazine, or journal, or whatever print media it might have been.
With a few minor edits, here it be . . .
I left you all at a juncture in my story “The Club 66.” So, it’s time to circle back a little. If you don’t remember, check out the last couple of paragraphs.
Disclaimer: I don’t recommend that anyone participate in such a ceremony without proper guidance, intent, and knowledge. Also, since we are all individuals, creatures with complex chemical-electrical systems, there is no way to predict how ingestion of any substance might affect someone. To either their benefit or detriment.
Nor can I offer any guidance in how to interpret such an experience. Words fall far short.
I read a post a couple of days ago stating that the difference between humans and other animals was the ability of humans to tell stories. And that this ability is what has led to discoveries, inventions (good and bad), art, poetry, war, etc.
Of course, I believe other species have their own way of telling stories. 🙂
Stories have been said to create a special niche where we love to reside. Fictional worlds that fill our minds, the majority of the time for some of us, with a central plot-line of underlying “conflict.” There are generally dark forces to overcome, battles to be won or lost, struggles that define the protagonists, to whom we relate ourselves.
It is us that mirrors back as being the heroine or hero. Whether defeated or exalted.
Last night, I tried posting this pic from the WP app on my phone. I had a bit of trouble but I think it did finally come through and I hope you’ve liked it.
Took this one off the back porch with a 400mm zoom lens and cropped it to enlarge it more.
The phone app doesn’t allow you to post a feature pic, and now that I’m back on the lap top, I’m making a few edits. I’ve also tried WP’s new editor with this one. Can’t say that I like it.
Have a wonderful Sunday!
We’re already nine days into the new year and I realize I haven’t posted anything yet. True, things have been busy. Crazy busy. But that’s no excuse. After all, my mind is constantly churning out thoughts I seem to have no control over.
Spewing and spewing more words, phrases, ideas, and concepts than I can wrap my head around. Nonstop. Mass internal confusion. The collision of thoughts like sub-atomic particles ricocheting around in a super collider.
Condensation trails in a cloud chamber.
It’s no wonder it’s tough to think and write cohesively.
What is that voice in our heads constantly telling us how the world is? And I don’t mean that voice from the subconscious that warns us when we need it most – that’s our gut talking. That’s intuition. That’s something entirely different.
Fear, desire. Lightness and dark. The polar opposites are said to be interrelated.
But that doesn’t seem to match our perceptions of reality. I mean, do people fearing some awful event actually have a secret or subconscious desire for that event to happen? Self-flagellation??
I’m not really sure.
There is a growing body of literature talking about our power to manifest the things we want in life. And I’m not sure how much credence to put in that line of thought. This mystical power if activated improperly, by a negative focus, would rain terror down upon us. And that seems to negate the concept of free will, or our ability to say “no thanks.” “I don’t wish to be struck by lightning.”
I really do like studies. Even the ones where we think there are obvious conclusions, as if we didn’t need any documentation.
“Everybody knows that!”
But us humans do like to research. To authenticate, substantiate, certify, justify, confirm, establish, corroborate, prove, support, validate. Whatever word you want to use.
We like confirmation and quantification.
So, while I’m not overly surprised, I do find it intriguing that the research bears out that modern medicine has very little to do with our overall health – only about ten to twenty percent at best. A full eighty percent or more is determined by our relationships. At least that is what a seventy-five-year study conducted by the Harvard Medical School concluded.