Thursday, December 2, 2010

Driving, driven

Photo: supakali

Driving has always been, for better or worse, a significant part of my life. My parents would often take long road trips to visit family, for vacation, for business, for fun. And while travel could get boring very fast -- and frequently, the only thing to do was sleep -- I fell into the routine of staring out the window and wondering about the other people in cars, about the lit-up and the darkened windows in vast buildings, about the freeway bridges, the glimpses of cities at which we'd never pause. Back then, this kind of wondering about people and spaces shaped my impulse to write, I think. Who are you, where have you been, where are you going, what are these places, who was here?

I think you can do the same type of wondering as you walk, but it's much slower, the experience changed because you're in the landscape. In a car, light blurs, everything hurtles backward, there, here, here. You're just passing through, navigating by impression and accumulation. Maybe I'd call this a type of pre-writing.

Readers, how do you pre-write?


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