Feb 3, 2010 | Santa Fe, NM
Feb 3, 2010

A very hard thing is to get back into coding.

On the road there's always another town and if you're feeling stuck you can saddle your horse and be back on the move. You get good at the art of leaving, and you practice every day in cardboard motels and sad diners, where they fill you up with gas and coffee and ask you where you're from and where you're going and most of the time you don't even know.

You're living in the world and in your body, and you try to see all the signs. Then you're flying over oceans, and meeting fancy people, and staying up all night, and so much is happening you feel like a lilac tree that's been brutally pruned and looks like it won't survive the winter, but you know in the spring it'll come back stronger than ever, because that's what pruning does, even though every time you think it went too far.

You left your mind in the mountains of Utah, swallowing snow and guzzling dust, but it finally comes back when you slow down and sleep. It hobbles into your head and then you wake up and there's no more moving to do. It's time to get back to work, but it takes a few days, like learning to breathe thin air.

The world inside the computer is so different from the world outside the window. You see the sky through the glass, and you see the snow coming down, and you picture all the gas stations and sad diners, and you hear them call to you and dare you to leave again. But you've made promises to yourself and to others that now you will work, so at least for now, you will.

In your travels you've written many things on many sheets of paper. Now you are standing still but the wind is still moving, and it's blowing your thoughts and your papers all over the place. They go tumbling in the snow, and you run around and try to pick them up but they keep wanting to fly and you think that you want that, too.

For a few days after a trip there's always the battle between the road and the work, and you just have to hope that the beauty of what you are making is worth trading away the beauty of moving, because that's pretty beautiful, too, and it's hard to know which is more worthy of time.