365 Days in Aspen


This Land is Your Land

On my second day of driving across America (originating in Atlanta, Georgia and traveling through Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and into Colorado), I was struck with the diverse beauty of this country, inspiring me to listen to this song:

I first heard this version by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings in the movie "Up in the Air."  Great cover.  

I drove through cities (Nashville, St. Louis and Kansas City), up and down mountains and past pastures and farmland.  And I listened to music.  

As I drove past Topeka I was reminded of a memorable scene in one of my favorite movies, "Almost Famous."  (See the video link below).

I also listened to Bruce Springsteen's cover of the Woodie Guthrie classic.  As he introduced the tune he calls "the greatest song written about America," he said that he learned that Guthrie wrote it in protest to the song God Bless America. 

Makes you think, doesn't it?  About the diversity of our country beyond its beauty.   

Some more songs I listened to on this part of the drive…

Real People in Topeka… Clip from the movie Almost Famous…

And the scene afterward – demonstrates the transformative effect of music:

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The Road Less Traveled

Claude_Monet._Haystack._End_of_the_Summer._Morning._1891._Oil_on_canvas._Louvre,_Paris,_FranceJune 24, 2016

I suppose Robert Frost would agree that I am taking The Road Less Traveled. Leaving friends and securities and opportunities behind to go halfway across the country on a new adventure.

Yesterday was my first day of driving and I observed the country that I live in via the interstates that I drove. I guess I could have taking a cue from John Steinbeck in his book Travels With Charley, which I read ages ago, and experienced a much more intimate view of this country. Maybe another time. This time I have a destination in mind and I want to get there as soon as I can.

As I traveled on my route I saw a variety of scenery and landscape.  I saw roads I knew well, and I saw highways that I hadn't taken and many many many years. I went through the mountains of Tennessee and The Plains of the Midwest. As I drove past haystacks it made me think of Monet and his famous paintings. It made me wonder why he chose that subject as something to paint. Yes, I could probably Google and try to find out the answer, but this is one of those questions that's more interesting when it's asked and pondered than when it's researched. Did he like the shape? Did he like the normalcy? Did he want to make something ordinary into something beautiful? Or did he like that they seem abnormal, these cylindrical shapes on a flat, mown field? Or were they symbolism for a man's hard work?

I suspect he might not have even been able to answer the question.  The motivation probably came from within. or, more likely, from an external, more mystical source.  Because that's really where all art comes from. Our connection with the Divine.

And I suppose that's also the source that's propelling me on my journey.

So, as I take The Road Less Traveled, and embark on my adventure, I hope whoever reads this will find their own spark inside – and outside – themselves to explore.  To love. To create. To connect.

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