Roadtrip Memories Become Impressionist Paintings
When I am road tripping, I typically have the best intentions about writing something down nightly to memorialize the things that I see each day while they are fresh in my mind. Before I even leave the house, I have a little pep talk as I’m packing my bag – “Bring your MacBook,” I say to myself. “You can write stuff down while you’re vegging at night.” And, each and every time – I fail miserably.
And it’s not for lack of trying! Or maybe it is. Each night while I am away, I scroll through my camera roll, edit a few photos, and upload the days pics. I might even jot down a few notes, or idea stubs but nothing of substance typically materializes.
Something about the scrolling of the days photos becomes like a romantic process. I tend to lose myself in that even though in many cases I just saw whatever I photographed. Maybe it’s like an elephant lovingly handling skeletal bones, there is a need to pay respect to what has passed.
Maybe being unable to put what I saw in day into words is simply the result of having so much information crammed into my eye holes all day long that my brain just hits tilt when I stop moving. Or maybe I just have a process that is innate to me. I don’t know.
Whatever the case, it can take a while to distill all the input from any jaunt and my feelings about it. I do know with certainty that I lose track of the smallest lived moments with their unique nuances. Many if not most experiences become ephemeral. And after a certain amount of time, my feelings about my feelings become romantic interpretations colored by distance. They’re something of an impressionist painting of reality. My mind’s eye can see what’s there, but the details blend together. What is left is but a beautiful and dreamy version of the truth.