Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon was recommended to me almost two years ago and it's been sitting in my room unread since then. I read the back cover over and over and it sounded good but for whatever reason I didn't want to read more.
Packing up the bedroom for the move, I pulled it out again and put it aside thinking I might want to read in the car. As a kid on road trips, I always brought multiple books, Mad Libs, travel bingo and was still bored after ten minutes. These days I can stare at the passing landscape for hours on end, content to let my mind wander, so I didn't open Blue Highways until I was in bed two nights ago. And the twenty or so pages I managed to read before passing out were good. So good. I soaked in the words, willing myself to slow down and absorb them as much as possible.
...a man becomes his attentions. His observations and curiosity, they make and remake him.
Etymology: curious, related to cure, once meant "carefully observant." Maybe a tonic of curiosity would counter my numbing sense that life inevitably creeps toward the absurd...Maybe the road could provide a therapy through observation of the ordinary and obvious, a means whereby the outer eye opens and inner eye. STOP, LOOK, LISTEN, the old railroad crossing signs warned. Whitman calls it "the profound lesson of reception."
Do new things make for new ways of seeing?