In three days, it will be exactly 6 months since I left my home to go On The Road. In case anyone was wondering, this tour is too long.
I didn't plan to be On The Road this long, but here I am. Now I'm in the Yukon. In August it was Edinburgh. In June it was Philadelphia. So it went, so it goes. At some point, I'm pretty sure it was September. I miss my cats, I miss my workout routine, my spices and my loose leaf teas. I miss my pillow, my sock drawer, and that settled, fresh feeling of knowing I have a clean-ish towel, and enough yogurt, and staples and postage stamps and printer cartridges in all the right places.
This is a new feeling, these Road Blues, and like I said, it's a product of this particular stretch of Road being too damn long. But this feeling is preventing me from being able to think ahead clearly to what the rest of my year can/could/should look like, because I don't want to plan any more tours, I just want to hole up in my sock drawer and stay put.
Lately I've been thinking a lot about what defines home. I remember summer 2014, I was in Calgary, complaining to some fellow artist friends about the state of my car.
"My car is a holocaust," I said. "Not a real Holocaust, of course, but obviously I must feel like it's pretty messy if I'm using the word holocaust right? Wow, things have gotten pretty bad in my car."
"Ha ha," said my fellow artist friends. All but Chase Padgett, who slowly shook his head.
Chase is a man who has seen his share of The Road. His eyes, great blue beams of truth, locked into mine. "Your car is your HOME," he said. "It's your HOME." And he said home not like someone might toss it off like hum, NO, he said it like hOHM, like hOHM Shanti Shanti. Like meditative NEXT-LEVEL shit, like SERIOUS zen serious meditative wearing robes and sitting on pillows shit, like NO JOKE. It wasn't funny anymore. Chase wanted me to understand in that moment that when you are on the Road, what counts as home changes, and you better hang tight and take good care of the slice of something-resembling-a-home that you DO have. Or else.
To extend Chase's metaphor, your car, your suitcase, your body, your mind: these are your only home on the road. You lose control of these things, you're homeless. And everyone knows that being homeless sucks. You can euphemism that shit and call yourself home-free, but that feeling of hOHM is essential to your mental and physical health; you cannot leave home without it.
I am not perfect at being At-Home on the road. But I am working on it. Thanks, Chase. Next time you go On The Road, maybe you'll let me watch you pack.