Monday, June 06, 2011


Road tripping is an American luxury in a land with so much land, so many well-maintained roads, so much sprawl. A large vehicle engulfs me as we wind up the roads around the lake on a late-night drive.

The lake was sparklingly mystery that reminded me of Shimer and when this trip was made with Shimerians after late-night trips to Evanston or the city. Tonight the lake filled me with memories of pasts and thoughts of the future. The lake disappeared behind the trees and the trees were everywhere. Dark and encroaching, filling the void in the land, make space and raising property values on million-dollar homes.

We drove in the dark and listened to music.


There was something about the American dark sky. No matter how far out you went in Korea there was never any truly dark sky; always the ever-present fluorescent light broke up the night and chased away the dark. Sometimes I wondered if Koreans weren't a culture afraid of the dark. The cities were always bright as day, regardless of the hour; no shadows could hide on the streets or in the halls. Not so on a dark-night drive up the lake shore.

The air was cool; the road stretched out long with hints of fog. Lights were turned down dim, and then there were no lights at all, nothing but open, dark sky. I leaned back so I could see up through the window, laying down, talking, silent whispers over light music and into dark night and misty drive.

Somewhere up there was the universe without end; somewhere in here, in this large car, the universe was locked up with me. Dark fell down around us, dark, and movement, and nights without end. Memories and talk, pasts and futures, thinking about the long weekend that was and how it was and where it was; words floated out between wet lips, making steamy little breaths into the cool night as stars twinkled.

Night drives are drives of reflection. Night drives drive you right back into the center of all your experiences, huddling them together in a primal way, in the moving cave that opens just enough to let in twinkling starlight. Night drives are the vigil, the silent meditation that brings the presence of the gods and spirits and demons that chase me, that chase us, that chase the universe.

It was cool as my hair danced in tendrils of night wind through a window and I was lost in the pull of it.


Doc Merrkin said...

It's been well over 30 years since I did a night drive on lake shore drive. Thanks for dredging up pleasant memories. Unlike this country, korea hasn't discovered the concept of "light pollution". It's been a thing in this country for twenty years I suspect. Something I always had to consider when I had my lighting business...

Anonymous said...

Been awhile since I went out and just cruised. We need to bring back that cheaper gas.

Saradevil said...

@Doc You're welcome. And I really wish Korea understood anything about light pollution, anything at all.

@Anon, sweet gods do they ever.

The pale observer said...

Hi Sara - just found you and I really like your writing - I like the way you put together an experience in your mind and lay it out like art...

I'm an expat too - a Canadian, 15 years in Africa.

Blogging about it along the way - hope u can visit my site as well. I'll be back!