the [road] journey returns (part two)

the [road] journey returns – part two
through indiana and into ohio


i rev and zip two-lane country roads: farm-to-market roads, county-line roads with the windows down and the sunroof open. their farm is lit between the clouds on an unassuming pasture a couple hundred yards up off the county road.

leaving city-life, the two nestled out a piece of the family plot. leaving city-life for the country is exactly what i’m joining my friends from part one to do. maybe it’s what we all want to do. he’s wearing a buckeyes shirt. hers is d.a.r.e. the five-leaf clover is real.

listening to tony allen & afrika 70’s progress (1977)

the heart of it all printed and marked

the [road] journey returns – part three/a
ohio continued – (pictures of pictures)

once upon a time the state motto of ohio was imperium in imperio (latin for “empire within an empire”). this ended in 1867 because it was considered poor taste post-civil war

img_1382img_1376img_1485img_1483img_1297-1img_1303img_1269-1img_1266-1img_1502img_1453img_1459img_1466img_1287-1img_1519“the america worth fighting for”

listening to julianna barwick’s prizewinning (2011)


vmp at the hostel

the [road] journey returns – part three/b
cleveland- (pictures of pictures)

we sit in the kitchen and he tells me the story of why he’s here. he first experienced synchronicity at the end of 2012. six months later he started a journey: he’ll have a dream of a place and if he receives manifestation of that place through coincidence or sign, he’ll go. he’s let go of all material and travels with only the clothes on his back and an old flip-phone that he’s ready to lose

he believes his purpose is to prophetically share his testimony with others experiencing synchronicity and let them know, “they’re not alone and have no reason to feel fear.” his ah-ha moment came at a time of particular darkness immersed in what he calls a world of meth and internet porn. i want to believe him

listening to eddie money’s baby hold on (1977)

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the great american stylite of the road

the [road] journey returns – part three/c
daydream belieb’n – (pictures of pictures)


maybe one day i’ll reach the end of the what-it-means-to-be-america side-quest. all knowledge of being of this great nation will flow through me like the wind of the earth. and i’ll build a tall and powerful pillar off a meaningful road like route 66. there i’ll sit, so high and beaming the satisfaction which only comes from the completion of a job well done. travelers and seekers will come to ask me questions and look onto me, the great american stylite of the road. All will enjoy free-parking and a short film. the modest admission will be less than or equal to a shrimp cocktail (depending on season and demand)

my pillar will be modest yet garner attention with sweet neon. the gift shop will be clean and the ice cream, handmade. road trip pilgrims will leave donations in honor of the living prophets they’ve met at the various hostels they’ve stayed. like dr. pepper and rold gold pretzels to the vending machine prophet who let me know everything’s cool

listening to bryan ferry’s boys and girls (1985)

meditations on memorial speculation

the [road] journey returns – part four
pennsylvania, usa – (pictures of pictures)


my friend remembers when the plane crashed. she was in school. everything stood still, everyone glued to the television. world-changing events unfolding in new york, dc, and a field twenty miles away. it was a confusing time with no one sure what would happen next. that evening, several states away, i went on a first date with a college girl. it led to dry-humping in a parking lot. not sure what my friend did, we didn’t know each other then. she was probably less-chaffed, but without asking i can’t know for certain. i cruise the appalachian hills of coal and stay the night at my friends folk’s place. fellow traveler coming through with the beautiful gift of a home-cooked meal and a town tour. i hit the road after breakfast. pass a junkyard on a rolling hill and take a picture of a billboard of  jesus, an airplane, and abortion.

flight 93 memorial
the permanent memorial opened a month ago. minimalist concrete, stone, and slate grow out from the sloping land. people lost their lives here. the mood at the memorial is curious. not quite somber, more like the line at a dinner buffet. i sit in the sun on the walkway listening to the conversations:  “jet fuel can’t melt steel beams” is a popular topic. questioning the truth of the official story is another. the leaves are colorful in autumn change.

gettysburg, adams county, pennsylvania
the site of the battle of gettysburg is one hundred miles from the flight 93 memorial. fifty thousand soldiers lost their lives on this place. this battle changed the course of the civil war. the vibe is mackinaw city meets silver dollar city. after exploring the historic grounds, one can purchase souvenirs in one of the many gift shops around town and of course no trip to gettysburg would be complete without enjoying delicious ice cream at its several parlors – i sure did

epitaph for a post
it’s been a big couple days on this what-it-means-to-be-america side-quest: lots to think about. like if the town of gettysburg is what it is a hundred years after the civil war, is property around the flight 93 memorial a wise long-term investment?

the war on terror would have to be nostalgically branded into historical fetishism the way the civil war has but america is almost numb enough for a 9/11 reenactment (l.a.r.p.) scene to kick off so it’s possible. everything in this great nation is  // the day after 9/11 our fax machine started getting advertisements for old glory everything- it was a bonanza

listening to little river band’s it’s a long way there (1975)

holding rocks at shit

the [road] journey returns – part five
off u.s. 6 and 30

at certain places, at special points, after a nice thought or a nice experience i’d pick up a stone from wherever i was and trade it with the one from where i was before. on the last day i grabbed the last rock shortly before sunset, the next morning i left it at the destination

listening to color haze’s mountain (2004)

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the main house: a palace

friends bought a farm
dutchess, new yorkimg_5062

the farm is and was a lot of things. 70 acres, two hours from brooklyn, neglected for decades. it’s rumored to have at one point been a roadhouse and a country retreat for city workers at another. it was a summer camp for zionist youth then a family’s discarded escape. the main house was built in the 1700’s, expanded in the 1800’s, and again in the 1950’s. some of the camp era bunk houses still stand with hearts and flowers and anti-‘nam graffiti on the walls. in its present state, it’s an evolving dream of what it will become. this is phase one

the suburbs are domesticating city life. lyme is the new mugging.

listening to bob dylan’s oh sister  (1976)