Moving On

Moving on

It ain’t where you’re from, it’s where you’re goin’

I was watching The Ballad of Ramblin’ Jack and that line popped out at me—a statement from a rodeo hand responding to Jack’s admission that he was from New York City. One of the major organizing themes of much of my research and personal obsessions in the past year has been the wandering nature of my cultural heritage. It is wrapped around a certain homeless feeling I’ve had for many years, feeling no real sense of connection to any of the places I’ve passed through anymore. Feelings of connection have become more transitory. It’s best to keep moving on.

The best impetus for moving forward is to have something to run away from.

That line from Eric Hoffer has also been long planted in the back of my mind. I think of the way humanity always manufactures crisis. Perhaps it’s because we just can’t stand to be still. Decisions are made, right or wrong—and in the American consciousness at least, even a bad decision is better than inaction. We’ve got to move. The cycle always fulfils itself, as bad decisions frequently cause the horrors that we flee from. But we paint this road with the stripes of being genuine, of being authentic, of returning home to some past notion of who we might be.

But there is no origin, no home, which isn’t riddled with the bullet holes caused by those mistakes that pushed us away. Perhaps it is better to just keep moving, away to someplace that really isn’t home. Perhaps it is best to forget some of the tragedies rather than dwell on the horror— though we claim we shall never forget.