Letting go of the Trail

November 5, 2007

Monday nights I’m in class online and often there is a downtime moment and I think to check out Writer’s Island to see about the week’s writing prompt. I just looked about twenty minutes ago and I thought, “Interesting, but I’m feeling pretty lazy at the moment.” Returning to class by way of a click on the browser tab I soon found boredom and hopped onto this here blog. I’d already decided not to do a WI post though wanted to put up something so I searched through a couple of photos and it hit me: *ton of bricks* I cannot forget about the Appalachian Trail!

Here’s the evidence:

  1. Numerous references throughout my blogging career most notably here, here and here. I counted at least two more.
  2. In both of my classes right now I am bringing in elements of my time spent on the trail. In one class I am exploring the information seeking behavior I engaged in leading up to my long-distance hike. In another I am creating a two minute digital story about (can you guess?) the life-changing events that occurred while I was on the blah-blah. These are some of the pictures from said earth-shattering occurrence.

Okay enough of the list. I have found the truly unforgettable in my life and (being serious here) do believe that it had a profound effect on this life. But sometimes my re-visiting of this time period makes me feel like a one-trick pony. And so here is my offering to the gods of the not-soon-to-be-forgotten: do with it what you will.

(I’m thinking some of this post has to do with NaNo and my propensity to use highly autobiographical content and then do a slight fictionalization. In this case it is a trip I took to Europe some years back-the AT hike of that time period. My word count increases as I exorcise the past.)

I must admit: I do look pretty content in the pictures.


12 Responses to “Letting go of the Trail”

  1. Brian Says:

    It’s interesting on this one event has shaped your life and cast echoes forward to the future.

  2. Hedwyg Says:

    Very nice! Hey – I live in Virginia Beach. Which library do you work at, she asks, adding more to the question so that she doesn’t end it with a preposition? 🙂

    Drop me an email sometime (email address is on the “about me” on my blog – I usually don’t leave it randomly in blog comments, so that the robots and spiders and trolls don’t pick it up).


  3. Mary T. Says:

    Thhis was interesting and fun. I haven’t been your age for a long time! It is interesting to me that so far we’ve all searched in the past, but then unforgettable sort of led us that way. Love the photos.

  4. Interesting how memory works, isn’t it?

  5. Taffiny Says:

    Why does the beard look red, when the hair looks light brown?

    I don’t write about myself, but find myself in the work over and over anyway. My issues contained within. And I walk into them unawares, not knowing that is what I am writing about.

    Life changing things happened to you on the trail, it makes sense that you would want to revist that time, understand it more, look at it closer, that it would come unbidden into your work, it is part of who you are, so it is part of what you do, and it makes sense to share the story with others so they may benefit from it as well. I don’t think you will ever let go the trail (why would you want to), it is woven through into you.
    Hopefully other significant moments will be added. Gathering together over the course of a lifetime, informing your work.

    I do know what you mean, from my own work, about the one trick pony concern. But I have also noticed many of my fav writers do repeat topics, issues, settings, because that is what is inside them, so that is what they write about. I am sure it could be a bad thing, but also that it doesn’t have to be.

  6. jo Says:

    First I’m smiling at Tiffany — I come from a family of brown haired, red-bearded men……are you of Irish descent by any chance? Second point, those photos, especially in the first link, are stunning. Ever the Waltons fan, I’ve always wanted to visit Virginia, it is spectacularly lovely place. Thanks.

  7. Tumblewords Says:

    Interesting how an experience leads to others equally unforgettable. Nice post!

  8. Matthew Says:

    Yes Brian well said-the afterquake tremors are still reverberating.

    Hi Hedwyg-in case I forget to email I work at Central library on the Boulevard. I resemble the pictures above though a lot less facial hair.

    Thanks Mary T. and yes Crafty memory intrigues me to no end.

    Taffiny-Where to begin? For the first question I will refer you to Jo’s comment–it is the Irish blood in me. You are right that I’ll never really let go of the trail and truly I don’t want to purge my mind of its memory. I believe I was just having a moment of introspective cleansing. Interesting that you should note about your favorite writers revisiting the same themes and topics. After I wrote the post I came to the ssame realization. One writer that I admire who does this constantly is Henry Miller. There must be at least five books of his that have at the focal point his relationship with a certain woman. Thanks for the insights!

    jo-You of course are right, hair on the chin red and hair on the head brown I’d never grown a beard before this trip and was surprised by its hue. Virginia does have beauty.

    Tumblewords-As usual thanks for coming by and sharing your kindness.

  9. You are right. You do look content and very smug in the pictures!


  10. Some places are evocative, memories of them stay with us forever, experiences in those places continue to evoke dreams, thoughts and ponderings. I think it’s hardly surprising that you would draw on profound moments and places in your own life for your stories. I think it’s what all writers do! 🙂

  11. Matthew Says:

    Smug-yes gautami a good word for the photos.

    Absolute Vanilla-You’re right on!

  12. Just Jen Says:

    You do look pretty content, the scenary is beautiful and I think that would be unforgettable!

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