As I prepare for a journey, I've been thinking a lot about transportation. Like, how am I going to move through the landscape, other than with my body? I have, of course, looked into the tried and true modes of transportation in contemporary North America: trains, buses, planes, cars, trucks, vans, and so on. They're convenient and easy to find, as a lot of our infrastructure is built around them. But I desire a departure from the norm for my journey. So, I'm considering alternatives.
When I ask myself, Lindsay, how would you like to move through the landscape, some key ideas arise:
- Off the beaten path. I don't want to always travel the normal routes. I'd like to be able to move through the forest, the water, the sky. And sometimes, maybe, go underground?
- Independence. I'd like to be able to change direction or stop and investigate something at a moments notice.
- Slow. I want to move slow. At nature's pace. I'm interested in what becomes possible when you enter a slower pace of time. Can you imagine how different our society would be if we still did everything with horses? Ironically, I think we'd have more time even though we'd be moving slower.
- A beating heart. Yes, I said it. I'd like my vehicle to have a beating heart. I mean that literally, as in the vehicle could be an animal. But I also mean it metaphorically — vehicles that move because of natural forces like wind and water (or my own body's physical exertion) channel nature's beating heart. Or something like that.
- No break-downs. Only emotional ones. Things without motors and electronics don't really break-down. And if something does go wrong, there usually is a solution you can find by relying on yourself, others and nature.
- Companionship. Sure, motor vehicles are companions. But I desire a deep relationship with my transportation mode — a relationship based on two-way communication, trust and respect. Something that develops over time.
- Will. I'd like for my vehicle to have its own will and/or move due to naturally occurring phenomenon such as wind and water, and including magic.
Perhaps my body is the best option. But here are some other ideas that (mostly) fit.
Animals. One of my earliest memories is sitting on the back of a moving elephant. I don't recall any visuals though, just the feeling of the large animal's gentle sway underneath me.
Boats. Found throughout the world in many forms, I think human- and/or wind- powered boats are one of the most beautiful things humankind has created.
Airships (or the plane in Fly Away Home). Other than finding a way to transform into an eagle (or ascend), airships - including the DIY situation of attaching helium balloons to a lawn chair - are the way to go here. I included the trailer for The White Diamond, one of my favourite films.
Magic. This is the category that I'm most inspired by. These modes of transportation are one-of-a-kind and usually part of a hero's journey. None to be found on Kijiji.
And, of course, considering magic forms of transportation leads into a whole arena of possibilities for metaphysical travel such as dreaming. But I'll leave that for another time.