And eventually, Greg’s momentum will slow and he’ll feel himself pulled like a tractor beam to some other massive space-displacing girthy planet body, and he’ll know his experience with “Saturn” the “best game in town” is in the past now and this is his new life.
Where Greg and I differ (besides all the obvious ways) is that I am the pilot of my own Escape Velocity. As I feel the seasons of my life run through those stages of purpose-buzz to scenery to routine, I hear this whisper from my gut: move faster. The speed starts gathering in my head first; like an old-time movie projector starting slowly, I am treated to images of whatever my next Saturn could be – the next “best game in town”. I feel a corresponding quickening in my desire to stop acquiring stuff, hoard my resources (like canning preserves for the winter), plan, dream, talk…soon I have spun a whole fantasy out, my resources are streamlined, my mind pointed like a dagger, my body tensed for the spring.
And then I launch.
The problem with Escape Velocity for me is not the velocity; it’s the escape. I love the velocity but I’ve made the mistake of tying it up with escape. I am in love with speed. My heart screams for it, my body responds to it, my soul goes along for the ride, hair thrown back and streaming in the wind, knuckles white, big grin. And as I get older, even though I keep responding to that deep whisper (move faster) (Tacoma – Los Angeles – Seattle – DC – Saturn who?), another part of me is resisting. Is growing tired. My orbit is eroding in quality, my arc of speed in strength. I’m so tired of moving boxes and new apartment leases and the process of dating new friends and finding a grocery store.
So I come to this: is it possible to maintain velocity and just orbit one thing? Or will my velocity create escape, again and again, until I don’t know where I started or why I’m going?