Thursday, June 07, 2007

The end of a very long road trip, Part 1

And here I am in what is the closest thing to paradise, in my book anyway, Newfoundland. Foggy in this part, but I drove 900 KM of it today and the weather varied between snowy mountains, a tropical Gander region and now fog.

I had the oddest sensation today, walking out of the restaurant after breakfast. I was surrounded on three sides by mountains and on the third by the majestic ocean. I looked up at the mountains, still speckled with the winter snows, and down at a gorge gushing over the granite and crashing into the sea. I felt really, really tiny, insignificant. I never get this feeling in the madding hoards of the city. Never. But today, walking in solitary splendour across the parking lot, I was merely a pin prick on some huge sprawling canvas.

Driving from Toronto to Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia is quite the hike even with another driver. Solo (with apologies to my faithful dog)it is a challenge. Although I love driving and playing my collection of CDs and staying at sundry motels. This time it was different. I was outnumbered by couples of my age, in cars, in restaurants, walking, checking in. It made sense, we are all sans children, semi-retired or retired, free to come and go. I felt very much the odd one out. The misfit, the reject. I'm not foolish enough to think that these relationships are all perfect, in fact, some of them were rather snappish, some were silent, others superficial and some involved holding hands and/or touching. And that is what I miss the most. The touching, the light stroke of the hand on the arm. The sheer contentedness of companionship, the shared experience.

Travelling alone I get the opportunity to think, sometimes saddening up, reflecting on the loves no longer here, or gone on to other relationships, or the ones that did not work out at all. Even though I wish some had. I am surprised at the intensity of my sexual desire at times. I consulted with my "shaman-guru-in locus mater" who is ninety and she tells me it never leaves, this sensual, sensuous, sexual yearning. Oh my.

I think of my dear friend who lost his wife last year and fire up a needle of hope. Would it be possible? Who can tell? We e-mail/call each other daily. We are the best of friends but lovers? A bit of a head spin that. Is it because I am lonely for the physical, lonely for the touch, that I place him front and centre in my brain as a possibility?

Spending so much time with myself has loosened all the bats in my belfry obviously. This is to be continued, if you're up for it.

Picture is of St. Bride's, Newfoundland, taken by www.


  1. "The touching, the light stroke of the hand on the arm. The sheer contentedness of companionship, the shared experience."

    That says it all. Nine years down the line and I feel that ache all the stronger... perhaps thats a good sign of the soul-mate I lost.

  2. I hope you find the sort of companionship you're looking for, www, especially in the midst of such beautiful scenery that must cry out for joyful sharing. I often thank my lucky stars that Jenny and I found each other when so many people are still looking for that sort of joint delight. Hope the bats don't get too frisky and wreck the belfry altogether.

  3. Grannymar: Yes, having experienced the great 'it' we miss it all the most!
    Nick: You and Jenny give me hope and I've given the bats their tetanus shots today!

  4. hiya--just found your blog, can't remember how. i just finished a book that i think you would like (based on this posting). it's called "at home in france," by ann barry.

    her book is suffused with similar feelings of adventure and loging....

    i look forward to Part 2 of your trip.

  5. No bats! How awful would it be if that longing left us? So much of life is passion I never want to lose it.
    Your drive sounds amazing. As for the relationship, what do you have to lose?

  6. I'm up for more! Please continue to tell us about your travels and your thoughts. Please continue to describe the setting and share your observations.

    I also travel alone -- in life and on the road -- but my travels are so much more mundane. Even so, driving while listening to tunes or just being with the silence is a great way to know what our thoughts are, don't you think?ww

  7. Hi Laurie, welcome!
    I've made a note of the book, thanks.
    Thanks Verna, I, part 2 is coming up.

  8. Your words about Newfoundland sets my soul afloat with waves of nostalgia. I feel the spirit of the people & the love it gave as I grew up there. My soulmate of 54 years spent a short time there & he still feels the warmth of the people of Newfoundland. It is a special place where love is rooted and so much to inhale.

  9. How beautifully written, anon!
    I do hope you have read my other Newfoundland posts, there are many. I am soooo in love with Newfoundland.


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