Making a Living Yet Never Living

We are all on borrowed time

Some turning a blind eye
To the wanderlust nipping at our heels
Others, acknowledging it in silence
Knowing that with self-control, it can be kept at bay

Why? Why, when only faced with our own deadline,
Do we rise up to live,
To explore and travel, to approach every stranger for a story
To grasp for some attempt at meaning before our existence is demolished

Why do we keep our whole life limited and routine,
Afraid to dance without inhibitions,
To sing at the top of our lungs in the car,
Instead choosing to spend our days making a living
Without ever seeking to live

I write of the desire, the need to take in everything
And yet I find myself sitting at a screen, typing away
A paycheck for the chance that I might wake up
Soon, I will stop making my excuses

With the city lights growing a brighter contrast
A dark sky pretending to be night but clouds hang low,
A wide reflection of the neon signs

I realize that for over two years I have now sat
Thinking only in dollar signs,
Failing to return to the spontaneous trips
Waking at three in the morning, determined to make it to the beach before sunrise
Armed with only time and gasoline

I know I can save and I know we will travel
But once we make plans, set a schedule
The mystery and the excitement of the unknown stopping point,
It all wanes and becomes a grid of required events, a guideline for adventure

So instead I want to squirrel away funds
I want to open an envelope, pull out the cash
Turn to you with keys in hand
Let’s drive for a day, let’s drive for the weekend
Let us spin the wheels and consume the gravel,
Stopping at hide-away stores
Drive to a small town square and dance to the truck’s radio
Put the dogs in the back, roll the windows down
And breathe air of a different kind
Think not of the gas tank, think not of the budget
Look only to the road or to your right and I will look only to my left

In your eyes I travel the only road trip I’ve ever sought
In your smile, the miles speed by
In your arms, my destination is meaningless
Swept up in a passion
Knowing that with the weekend’s close,
So too shall the map fold up and be stowed away

The grind will resume, the responsibilities taking forefront in our minds
The bills and daily requests will put each day’s clock into sharp focus
But in the dark bedroom, dimly shining with outside lights
I see your profile and we may smile at each other
Knowing that the trip may be over
But the map still holds secrets
Highways have yet to be traced, cities circled wildly
Cut out post cards glued along the roadways
A physical testament to the life we have led

Someday, as a child quiets into slumber,
That map will hang above their bed
When their eyes open, they will know only the possibilities
They will dream of a Seussical world
Never to be told that the highways stretch too far
And the requirements of life, too pressing

No Highway is Too Far | Living without Living | Koogimama

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