When you see the masthead image for this blog, what goes through your mind? Dangerous driving conditions? The daily commute? The monotony of the road? Adventure? When I asked this question on Twitter about a month ago, those were the kinds of answers I got. And so today, I’d like to explain briefly what it means to me.
The image itself is cropped from this larger picture, taken by my brother. I was at the wheel of his Subaru WRX, driving on Interstate 80 in Nevada, heading home from visiting our Oma in California. We got caught in a sudden rainstorm in what is normally a hot, dry and cloudless wilderness.
On one level, this image represents some very specific memories. Looking at it, I can remember how tense and alert I felt on that July day in 2003. The sheer surprise of such a windy downpour. The bittersweetness of driving home after visiting far-away relatives.
And, like any good picture, there are also more abstract representations. Most important of these, for me, is that bend in the highway in the middle distance. That curve in the road that shows, bit by bit, what lies ahead only if you continue forward. Toward the unknown. And that same curve also obscures what has just been passed. You look in the rearview mirror and your past is no longer visible. The gas station, the rest area, road signs are all diminished by time and distance. A metaphor if ever there was one.
Growing up in a church community, I was taught to stay on the “straight and narrow path.” Yet, the more I experience, the more I realize that the joy of life lies in the curve. And so, for now, the image above will remain as a kind of icon for this blog. Driving on through good times and adversity, revealing in increments what lies ahead.