“Epiphanies. Go easy. There is nothing inherently edifying about travel. The universe seldom reveals itself in grand visions except to prophets and saints, which probably leaves you out no matter how far from home you roam. In everyday life, on and off the road, it's the little things that count, the small awarenesses that illuminate your place on the Wheel of Life. Beware any idea bigger than a breadbox.”
So writes Vivian Swift, author of this month's book, Le Road Trip. Subtitled A Traveler's Journal of Love and France, it's an intimate and enchanting chronicle of the highs and lows of hitting the road. It's beautifully written, both literally and figuratively, having been typeset by hand by Ms. Swift, and filled with her own delicate watercolor illustrations; she's a very talented artist. She continues:
“Shortly before I left home to go on a two-year mission in the Sahara I sought out an old Africa hand for advice. He'd been administering land management projects in the desert for 20 years, under dictators, and during revolutions, through drought and famine and the occasional flood. I spoke to him, hoping he wouldn't notice the panic in my voice: 'What's the most important thing I need to know about living in Africa?' I asked.
He looked thoughtful, took a sip of beer, set the bottle back carefully on the tabletop.
'Always walk in the shade,' he said.”
Not bad advice for Tucson, actually! Or anywhere else the sun shines brightly and relentlessly. Le Road Trip is a wonderful book, full of small celebrations, and the pleasurable perils of love, travel, and France (and bits of Africa, too). Be sure to read all about it!
Copyright © 2012, S. Halversen.
All Rights Reserved.