3. Take something you feel strongly about, whether it is positive or negative, and write about it as though you love it. Go as far as you can, writing as though you love it, then flip over and write about the same thing as though you hate it. Then write about it perfectly neutral.
One of my favorite memories is waking up on the edge of a Colorado town. I’d slept in their fair grounds the night before, beside a pile of gravel, ushering in the evening stars. Such freedom I felt. No car, no plan, nothing but a backpack filled with a sleeping bag & bivvy sack, changes of clothes, my journal, water, some food, other odd accouterments and my desire to see, to wander, to explore. I love the freedom of a hitch hiker’s travel. Careening down the highway in the back of a stranger’s truck with their oversized rottweiler named Lucky who’s as friendly as a fawn. Walking on the side of the road, surrounded by the 4 Corner Region’s buttes & gullies and vast inland stretches of desert. Red sand, kitty litter gravel, hot sun, where’s water. Life is fine hitchin’ free; nothing on my mind- to be present is so easy.
And then there are the mornings where I wish to anything that I knew something familiar on the horizon. All this wandering is getting old! The sand is hot, I’ve been walking for hours & no one is picking me up (except for that creepy drunk dude!). I hate hitch hiking and I am so tired of it! Won’t be doing that again. It’s been 17 days; I’ve been in four states, met some wonderful people, but I am over this hitch hiking thing. I’m tired of sitting in cars with strangers who I don’t want to talk to. What am I doing? Just wandering around. But where am I going? No where fast! This is stupid. I might as well go home.
But you know, eh, hitch hiking is this okay thing. Sometimes people pick you up right away and sometimes you sit on the side of the road for four hours thinking about how it’d probably be easier to just climb over that mesa to get to where you wanna be. It’s a sometimes you win some sometimes you lose some kinda bag. And that’s where hitch hiking stands in my mind – perpetually in the middle, take it or leave it. I’m not sure I’ll ever take another hitch hiking trip, what with all the daily grind of trying to get a ride. The high moments are when everything works out perfectly for you: those people who just happened to pull over for you are actually going exactly where you want to, and they’re friendly and you all can groove together for the two hours drive. Hey! you actually turn into friends, friends on the road all traveling free. But how often is that going to happen, really? Just as likely is getting that old lonely guy whose wife left him and girlfriend stole the money and won’t you come to my house?, I have a freezer full of Donatos Pizza (truly this happened during a snow storm in New Mexico!). And I think the truth of hitch hiking sits somewhere in between the two of these things. It’s high and then it’s low. I think the activity sits somewhere in the middle – if you have the desire for it.