Fast Cars and Freedom


I love driving. Its a sort of new thing. When I was going through my divorce, I used to get in the car and drive just to get away for a little while. I found some amazing places just a short distance from Albuquerque.

The drive I took most often was out I-40 to Edgewood. From there I would loop north through Cedar Grove and over the San Pedros. There is a point as you crest the top of the mountain where the road drops away. The view is magnificient. Gorgeous mountains and the smell of pine trees through the open window. The final part of the loop is down North 14 back to I-40. That drive never failed to lighten my mood.

The other escape drive I did was train chasing at Abo. This drive was considerably longer…about 3 hours from start to finish. From Albuquerque, go east on I-40 to Tijeras and turn south. The road winds through mountain communities and old Spanish land grants. At Manzano Springs, you see the first of the Indian ruins. You also tend to the east through ranch land near Mountainaire. The town of Mountainaire is a beautiful example of small town Americana. Then you head back west looping around the southern end of the Manzanos. At Abo, there is a rest area that is right near the train tracks. These are heavy industrial trains. I spent and afternoon there once, taking pictures of trains coming under the bridge. Finally you head back north through Belen and Las Lunas. I never get on I-25 there because I really dislike highway driving…I prefer the side roads:)

I had to quit taking the drives when my car got repoed in January of ’07. That was probably the low point of everything. No car, no money, a failed marriage… not a lot of fun.

After Dave and I got together, I started driving again… not as much as escape as togetherness. We try to go a couple times a month and have explored a lot of the state that way. I have learned more about this place I call home in the last 3 years than I did in the 20 years preceding.

Modern Day Drifter

Dancing on the precipice at the edge of the world
Looking out over the beauty
The abyss is a wondrous place
Full of darkness and mystery, yet glorious in its anonymity

After debating the wisdom of jumping off the edge
I tiptoe along the cliff
Hoping not to fall but knowing that if I do
The decision will finally be made

I took a drive today to clear my head
But ended up even more confused and conflicted
I know where I want to be yet…
The choice will impact far more than myself

I want to be a modern day drifter
Moving from place to place, never growing roots
Seeing life firsthand
Instead of daydreaming my days away

I want to go as far as my gas tank will take me
Stopping only to fuel up
Running away from the stress of being me
Running away from life as I know it

Living life on my terms
Instead of allowing others to dictate life to me
Jumping a train bound for somewhere
Anywhere but here

So as I look over the edge
I ponder the leap into the unknown
Paralyzed by fear and indecision
And dream of freedom.

Shawn Donato
February 25, 2006

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cindy Marrs
    Jun 10, 2010 @ 21:44:34

    wow shawn. those last three stanza are really talking to me. i have been thinking about jumping in my car and taking off all day today. feeling like going to reno of all places. oh my god. what am i thinking?! i am enjoying your blogging. keep it up woman!

    Reply

    • coffeequilter
      Jun 10, 2010 @ 22:04:14

      Thanks Cindy:) I still feel like that periodically. I can understand Reno…
      I am enjoying the blogging. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time…just hope I can keep coming up with stuff to say.

      Reply

  2. Aunt Mary Anna
    Jun 11, 2010 @ 16:54:33

    Shawn..as you know I really love your writing. This one really hit home for me and we had a conversation just last night about me being the family gypsy. My Mom and I had this ongoing discussion about my wandering ways. She said that if I never settled down I would not put down roots. I maintained that if I stayed in one place for too long then I would get rootbound! I am about to settle down again as I am feeling the need for a “nest” surrounded by my things(many of which are inherited from my Mom and my sister Susie). But….one never knows when that ol wanderlust will strike again! And..I have realized that there is really nothing wrong with that except there is no “grounding” for my kids and grandkids to think about as “Grandma’s house”.

    Reply

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