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December 2, 2012


The point of the journey is not to arrive, anything can happen…

That line, penned by Neil Peart from the song Prime Mover (on my favorite Rush album) has always fascinated me. I don’t share Neils atheism, or his agnostic tendencies (well not all of them), but his words speak to me at a very primal level, they always have. Over the years while life took it turns and twists, my faith and the words of a man who shares nothing of my faith have kept me on track.

Here is what Neil penned for Prime Mover from the album ‘Hold Your Fire':

Basic elemental instinct to survive
Stirs the higher passions
Thrill to be alive

Alternating currents in a tidewater surge
Rational resistance to an unwise urge

Anything can happen…

From the point of conception
To the moment of truth
At the point of surrender
To the burden of proof

From the point of ignition
To the final drive
The point of the journey is not to arrive

Anything can happen…

Basic temperamental filters on our eyes
Alter our perceptions
Lenses polarize

Alternating currents force a show of hands
Rational responses force a change of plans

Anything can happen…

From a point on the compass
To magnetic north
The point of the needle moving back and forth

From the point of entry
Until the candle is burned
The point of departure is not to return

Anything can happen…

I set the wheels in motion
Turn up all the machines
Activate the programs
And run behind the scene

I set the clouds in motion
Turn up light and sound
Activate the window
And watch the world go ’round

From the point of conception
To the moment of truth
At the point of surrender
To the burden of proof

From the point of ignition
To the final drive
The point of a journey
Is not to arrive

Anything can happen…

Not everyones cup of tea I realize, but I find comfort in Neils ability to write about human nature and the forces that drive us, I find an almost brutal honesty in his words, we each have arrived at different conclusions. But that’s to be expected, one cannot read someone like David Hume and simply dismiss everything he states, or Descartes, both are on opposite side of the philosophical fence, and both are right, and wrong. That’s what makes us human, we are complicated, ethereal and corporal, a mixture of juxtapositions.
We have been on a long journey, Michelle and I, twenty seven years of marriage. There have been highs, lows, pain, suffering, and lots of joy. For a time I was hoping we would finally arrive, that our journey would finally come to a close and we could just settle down. But I missed the point, the journey is the thing, it keeps us going, we change because of it, not in spite of it. Next year it will just be the two of us, alone and together again, as it was when we first started this journey. Our children are all leaving home, it’s very bittersweet for us. There was a time when we dreamed of this day, and now that it’s finally coming to pass, neither of us are so sure it’s what we wanted after all.
Losing the house could turn out to be one of the best things to ever happen to us, we get to start the journey over, we are older, wiser, and have more resources at our disposal. I look around at all the work that is still left to do here, and I know once this is done, we will be heading in a new direction. I also realized this weekend while packing how much work this house still needed to get it fixed right, I was halfway there, but let the lender do the rest, it’s his bad decision not mine. I want to start building guitars again, I took a sabbatical for a large number of reasons, those are largely gone now. So once we settle, I’ll go back to building, and not just guitars this time. I’ve been collecting arcade part, and electronics to work on automation and gadgets, and we still want to raise clownfish.
Anything can happen…
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1 Comment Post a comment
  1. Alejandro
    May 22 2013

    I’m listening to every album (except the live ones) of Rush right now on Spotify, something I should have done as each album was released instead of decades later. That line caught my attention as well, about the journey not ending. So I googled it and found your post here, or blog? Anyway, I thought it was interesting. I too just gave up a big beautiful home, I didn’t “lose” it, but I did have to give it up and sell it. So I’m in moving and downsizing chaos right now, but I believe it’s all for a purpose. I too am not an atheist or agnost, I’m a believer but in my own way, not what my (Catholic) church (nor the bible for that matter) dictates exactly. So I too do not share i.e. Neil’s or Rush’s taste for Ayn Rand (can’t stand her to be honest). But I do dig their songs, their talent, their lasting power, and was thrilled over their long overdue acceptance into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, at last. Anyway, I too am a musician so, your guitar-building struck a chord (ha, made a punny) with me as well. I hope since you’ve written this post, you have realized some of the hopes you had put on the back burners. i too am in a similar mode as I am trying to find the “right career” out there right now and it’s been insanely difficult to find something, so more and more I’m thinking I need to somehow create it myself.

    Cheers to the Journey!




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