December 11, 2006

Self-Portrait Challenge-Red: Shoes and the Road

There’s a big, wide, beautiful world out there, and for those who want: it’s out there…Matt Costa

I find myself a bit tired and busy this week, and so I am forced to keep this post short and simple. There are several forces converging on my life at this time, and I will allude to them all and see how they collide. I hope the image at the bottom of this post can be the basket to catch the pieces. The prompt at SPC this month is Red, and the ambiguity of the task has been both inviting and difficult for me. Here are my stories:

After three years of living in Malaysia, my family and I are on the road again. My wife and I have received new jobs, and we are off to explore another corner of the globe. We will not be leaving until August, but the wanderlust is already kicking in. You see, I have never been satisfied staying in one place for too long. There are too many cultures to learn about, there are too many countries to see, and I want to experience as much of the world as I can before my time comes. So while living in a globalized suburb of Kuala Lumpur may not be entirely different from living in a globalized suburb of San Francisco, I still feel the need to see for myself. After all I have been to Vietnam, Laos, Bali, and in March I am off to Angkor Watt. And now we are on the move to a globalized suburb of Doha, Qatar in the Middle East. We are trading in our tropical islands and rainforests for the desert and the Persian Gulf. Now we can travel to Egypt, Jordan, Oman and Iran. More on this move in the coming months.

The second force that has hit me this week is our upcoming trip back to the States for the holidays to see friends and family. We have not been back to the good ole US of A since 2004, and I am both excited and a bit nervous to see how all you Americans have been faring since our departure. We are lucky enough to be going back to San Francisco, one of the best cities in the world. We will be driving up the coast of CA and Oregon to Seattle. In short, we will be on the road (early-thirites with a baby style)I have so many friends to see that I am thinking about making a schedule. Things have changed: I am now a dad, I am now sober, and who knows what else, but I am still also the same guy who loves to hit the road and see old friends. Crank up the tunes and watch the Pacific Ocean scream by as we make our way up Highway 1.

The final force to hit me this week is that, I was at the record store this weekend, and I bought the soundtrack to a movie called A Brokedown Melody. I haven’t seen the film, but it looks awesome. It is a documentary about surfing with music by Jack Johnson, Eddie Vedder, and some other great artists I have never head of. All the songs are about traveling, freedom, and sucking the marrow out of life. So here are the lyrics of one of my favorites from the album. It is by a guy named Matt Costa:

Don't talk
Don't say nothing

I just packed my things
And I'm headed for something

Where I'm going
Well, I don't really know

The road is calling

So I've got to go

Yes the road is calling so ive got to go

We bid farewell
as the winds blew like hell
said we'd meet again

Like some storybook tale but,

no, we don't talk

We don't say nothing

I'll just pack my things

And go headed for something

but where i's headed

well i didnt really say

the road was callin
and i's on my way

yes the road was callin
and i's on my way
the road is calling
so i've got to go
Yes, the road is calling
so i've got to go

I am not exactly sure what the red shoes below may symbolize, but I know there are many things that they could represent. I hope that maybe you can figure it out and share your ideas in the comment section of this post. Below the surface, not too deep, I know that these shoes, in the very least represent freedom. I hope the image is inspirational.

I couldn’t resist putting these lyrics from a song called Breathe by Pearl Jam. It can be found on the Singles soundtrack and their collection of B-sided- Lost Dogs:

I suggest you step out on your porch.
Run away my son.
See it all.
Oh see the world.

If I knew where it was
I would take you there
But there's much more than this.

Much more than this.
See the world. See it all…


  1. I know they represent some serious fun times in my life (although I had black - and now have a black pair for my 2-year-old). But the red ones are lovely two.

    That soundtrack sounds great. New Eddie Vedder? Wow!

  2. your life fascinates me. i would love to live in cultures as you have. i look forward to watching what this next place has in store for you and your family.

    my husband and i are also driving the coast for Christmas. first up from southern cali to where my parents live near Angels Camp. then we are heading to San Francisco to meet up with some friends, then driving down to stop in Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara then back home.

    we should all chat on our cellies. *smile*

    love your ruby shoes too.

  3. world is our home :) great photo!!! [it reminded me of glam theme and my blue coverse shoes]

  4. What a poignant combo - shoes and the road. To me, it shows how ready you are to up and move on. Shoes are the last thing you put on before going out, right?

    All the best. May your travels fill you with the richness of humanity that you so seek. Shame that Malaysia has to lose such an interesting character, but hope she's been good to you.

    On an off note, I've recently met a colleague of yours - a trombone-player called Omar.

  5. Great pic, BZ, but then they usually are! I have seen lots of them as picks of the week. Thanks for the comments you left me.

    I have some black Chucks.

  6. I forgot to mention that I'm quite jealous of your life, I think I would really enjoy living in different places around the world. Have a great time on your trip to the states!

  7. Though I have never met you or your family, I am definitely looking forward to you guys making your way to Seattle. Good luck with the Highway 1 route. I tried it when I moved out here from Denver and ended up turning back at Stimson Beach (I was looking for Japhy Ryder and Ray Smith but was about half a century late). Time was bearing down on me and, though it was spectacular, I couldn't maintain that pace and make it in time. I know I missed out...