Monday, 2 January 2012

More on journeys

I said in a previous blog that life is a journey.  I do believe this.  I feel it.  Not long after I had written it I started to read Super Sad True Love Story, a novel set in the future by Gary Shteyngart.  He was interviewed in the BBC documentary called Books - The Last Chapter (referred to in a previous blog) and this inspired me to seek out his novel.

The second paragraph reads, “Don’t let them tell you life is a journey.  A journey is when you end up somewhere.  When I take the number 6 train to see my social worker, that’s a journey.”

That made me think about my journey.  Where do I want to end up?  I don’t know the answer yet, although we all end up in the same place ultimately.  Journey and destination.  Both matter.

Train journeys and car journeys both provide great creative space, I find, whether I am driver or passenger.  Ideas fire off unprompted in a way that rarely happens if I am staring at my computer screen.

I’ve just read Rumblestrip by Woodrow Phoenix, a monochrome graphic book all about what happens when we get behind a steering wheel.  The layout cleverly simulates a car journey and as you read, you feel as if you are in fact on a virtual car journey.  I came across this book in a store in London at

I keep promising myself I will go on one of their day schools some time.  Anyway, the book provides alarming statistics about deaths caused by driving and is thought-provoking.  I sometimes dream about driving a car, and when I drive at night, I sometimes wonder if I am dreaming.  Woodrow Phoenix describes it perfectly:

“There is a dreamlike quality built into the experience of driving.  A car windshield is a big window.  And also a screen….locations unwind on the other side of this rectangular glass almost as they do on a movie screen….you sit cocooned in your cabin….everything outside your windows is contained, the rest of the world an arm’s length away… glide through location after location as if they were erected just for you to drive past.  Every journey is a narrative with you at the centre.”  

I love that last line.

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