Waxing poetic on a lengthy commute

Oh, I fucking knew the internet karma/jinx gods would get me when, in my last post, I stated I’m trying to post every three to four days. Nine days later, here I am. What can I say, I only post when I feel like I have something to say, and lately I’ve been pretty pleased to keep my big mouth shut.

The temp job is going well. Granted it’s an entire alternate universe in comparison to my recent couple years fueled on creativity and innovation… Instead I spend my days filing stacks of black and white papers, filling out forms, and almost entirely detaching myself from the outside world in a remotely located office.

How remote? It’s a 45 minute drive from my house, up in the hills of southern Washington where I receive no cell phone signal, am surrounded by orchards and farmland, the internet connection is via satellite, and everyone there is much more comfortable working by hand rather than by computer. I have to use one of those electric calculators with the paper roll and I still cannot figure out if the button I use for subtraction is really the right button. I had no idea people actually used those things anymore.

Of course unplugging from the rapid current of digital life is refreshing in many ways. I look outside and see the two neighborhood dogs running around in the mud, looking for mischief. I get out an ounce of creativity here and there by drawing fonts on file folders and quietly relish reconnecting my pen to paper. My Italian and broken Spanish come back to me in a befuddled torrent of words when I try to speak Spanish with the company’s farm workers. The constant organization of files and papers is slightly satisfying.

My drive is buffeted by a tall travel mug of coffee and a comforting flow of public radio in my ears. In the morning I drive over on the Oregon side of the Columbia, confident in my sleepy state with my familiarity of the road. I pay a 75 cent toll to cross the dollar bill green Hood River Bridge, and start up a narrow winding road that romantically follows the White Salmon River into the hills and cuts through farm fields. One of the fields has spotted ponies that chase each other.

I drive home on the Washington side, which at this time of year has a golden cast of low-setting sun across its angular basalt cliffs. The trickles of waterfalls glint gold in the evening light. Across the river from my town there’s a domesticated herd of buffalo, which along with the nearby cattle are boasting dozens of wobbly offspring that I get giddy over every single day.

So the drive is nice. This is true. And the people I work with are very nice and I enjoy being able to help organize the place with a fresh pair of eyes. But I’m also so very glad this has no semblance of permanence as I think I’d go mad.

The job search wages on…


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