When we passed the Mississippi River, I started to feel really uneasy, and to put it kindly utterly depressed. I can’t describe how I knew what was coming to me, or what I knew I was going to, but it was filled with overwhelming sadness.
While driving on the highway, we stopped while a train intersected the route, dragging along an endless string of rusted, empty cars. It was spectacularly hideous in the glare of sunlight; its velocity headed directly into the flat line of the horizon. Very suddenly, I felt something terrible. I couldn’t even conceive the magnitude of empathy I was going to feel as we finally made our way into the new state.
Never having been west of the Mississippi, I had zero expectations about middle America. What I did learn though, was that I could never ever imagine living off of that highway. The trees looked mangled, the ground was compartmentalized into shallow pools of water and field. I cried my eyes out at how unnatural it looked. It was as if I could smell the pesticides and manure from the car with my heart. The earth was crying with me. I could feel the pain of a thousand genes. I think it was all of the evil humanity had manifested showing itself, and the affects of raping the agricultural lifestyle were apparent in the poisoned soil. suddenly I was cognizant of my life quality back at home, and all of the lucky things I inherited with it.
Later on, when we finally reached Oklahoma, I learned learned that we had been driving parallel, if not, directly on the real trail of tears; during this historical incident, native Americans were forced to emigrate to the desolate planes of the United States, to inland, landlocked reservations. The government forced the tribe out f their lush, green home lands on the eastern coast, into the barren, landscape of Oklahoma, through this foreign place called Arkansas. Many native Americans suffered and died, or were otherwise unsaved. However, even as the forefathers of America, native Americans were treated unfairly as being unwanted residents in a new white world. Being 1/8th Cherokee American Indian, it doesn’t surprise me that I was so afflicted by the ugly panorama of Arkansas. It represented American abuse on the earths soil through the loving art of agriculture. The ground, even from within the car, felt like a clogged artery of polluted water and soil. It was ready to burst and die.
So far, that hour in Arkansas has truly been the worst experience in my lifetime, aside from the later experience I had in Texas.
The reality of how humanity hurts with something so vital is overwhelming and sad. I can still hardly express myself
Nashville was absolutely stunning. The concrete landscape and infrastructure were profound enough to inspire me to take pictures of bystanders, from Vanderbilt, who were quite amiable. I had one business student model for me on the street Meeting people, even for a single second gives me a vicarious peek into their secret world. It feels like catching an actual glimpse of the universe.
It took us forever to find a chipotle. For several montes, I have been incredibly adamant about eating non-gmo, vegan, organic food. I succeeded for months, but it’s been a trial on the road. The anticipation of this trip has made me a little crazy and ravenous for all of the wrong things, most which I have resisted.
When it comes to animals and food, I wish I had more of a cause, but growing up is about finding those reasons, and learning to stand tall for your own beliefs… Right? I think so..
iPhone photos of Nashville Tennessee. Later on when I get my camera hooked up, there will be plenty more.
Around 1:30am, eastern time, we finally arrived in Knoxville, Tennessee. I’ve never immersed myself so deeply into the middle of the country like this before. I feel more alien then usual, which seems rather preternatural. Maybe it’s the even, open landscape. Thinking about being landlocked used to make me feel squirmy and nauseas. I always scoffed at the thought of living inland or visiting the mid-US., but I digress… Now that I’m no longer 10, on i-40W, with a changing velocity toward NM, I cannot describe how liberated I feel– from fear as well as my own life, habits, and poor patterns. I can do anything. I want it all.
Knoxville was a blink worth of sleep at some homey motel that Jonathan booked located on the outskirts of the city. Our room was immaculate, and refurbished with white sheets and country furnishings. Somehow the place reminded me of a church boarding school bedroom. The clean, snow colored linen seemed baptismal. We closed our weary eyes, and opened them to another day of driving, headed toward Nashville.
This is my shazam archive from our trip packed with hip hop, house, old school rap, dubstep and all those funky fresh scratch happy tunes.
I said Check it, double deck it, shake your booty to the crystal method, take
It downtown, get on the ground as we jump around, go up and down, go up and down, get your rhythm on like you staying alive, but we got the beats from the 5 oh 5.
Who is Freelance Wanderer? Someone with some sass. Check out the blog. I am open to the beauty of other people’s photography, and I hope you will be too! Check out this fantastic blog of wonderlust. It is beautifullyl illustrated with fine, heartfelt photos from Australia. Meanwhile, we pave our way to Lexington, Kentucky, USA to Albuquerque, New Mexico from Milford, Connneticut via automobile…
Country roads, a la mode, turn it up on the stereo, country roads, take us home, West Virginia.