The Epiphany

disclaimer: I swear on everything that is holy, o blogosphere, that this post will be countered later today by a picture-riddled post, so please be patient!

My dear dear friend James wrote us a legnthy comment to a previous post that I feel merits a post. Also, just hurry up and get “Not Ready to Make Nice” by the Dixie Chicks set up on repeat in iTunes, you’ll see why in a minute.

In it, he said,

“See, the thing about your whole road trip project is that it’s kind of knowing. It’s not about despair or flight or even ennui the way most great American “road” narratives are; instead, it’s measured, cautious, well planned. And yet the goal, if I’m understanding clearly, is that something will be revealed. I mean, you’re calling the blog ‘Road to Epiphany,’ fer Chrissakes.

And you’re wondering about your identity as Big-A Americans (or, if you prefer, no-A ‘Mericans), hence the need to go searching for something. I appear here to belabor this point because it informs what you should be listening to, I think. If you’re hoping to discover authenticity, yet you’re going about it by such considered measures, well, those measures are going to shape the kind of authenticity you find. That doesn’t make it any less real, only different. Which is why you should listen to some fake country music.”

While he gets a Big-A for music recommendations (he always does), I feel it’s time to go a little philosophical on the blog, and talk a little bit about our purpose.

First of all, the “epiphany, fer chrissakes”. As soon as we started this plan to drive across the country, and this blog, this became a concern of mine. Then an episode of This American Life was released – and the whole episode was dedicated to this concern! How can my entirely redundant narrative add anything useful to my life? What will I possibly find that will be so useful?

I’m perfectly comfortable with not finding “epiphany.” The whole title is kind of a misnomer, at least in terms of this trip. If I one day decide to, I want to call my own cafe “Epiphany Coffee and Tea” (I’m calling dibs, right here, right now everyone), so the “Road to Epiphany” is my own personal interpretation of that journey, not this specific road trip. Although I do think that this trip will provide plendy of insight and perspective, I don’t think that it will provide a grandeur realization about life, or me, or anything like that. We’re not going to the grand canyon.

Frankly, this trip is for me. Me, me me. I have wanted to drive across the country for a long, long time, and I’ve never had the chance to do it until now. If that makes me a Big-A American (which obviously it does), so be it. Plus, someone has the opportunity to do it with me, who also wants to do it for his own reasons. Since we’re only planning on doing it once we want to miss as little as possible. If that takes the spontenaity out of it, so be it. I hate to backtrack. I love to read maps and directions.

I want to meet the coffee people I hear about on the internet in real life, and remember that they’re just people like me. People who brought good coffee to others and were appreciated for it. If I can meet similar people in breweries and diners and shake shacks, that’s exactly what I intend to do. If Chicago puts pickles in their hotdogs and serves a pizza pot pie, I’m not going to miss it! And I don’t care if that takes away from the nature of the experiment, but that’s not the experiment that I want to have.

That all being said, I will not attempt to make any of this trip more than what it is. Meeting new people, seeing old friends, trying new things, and sharing it with people who aren’t there to partake. And dammit, I’m going to take some pictures and not ramble on all the time!

Also, I’m really glad I just got Saint Mungo, my new 80gb ipod. I’ve got some shopping to do.

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~ by Anne on August 17, 2007.

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