A Moving Experience

She challenged me to list all the addresses and cities I had lived in during the 1960s. I had to labor over it. I came up with over thirty in the six years since leaving my parents home. I did not count serial inhabitance – I moved in and out of the same properties countless times. The Folkie Palace on Boston’s Beacon Hill most frequently, but it received only one notice on the list. Sometimes I was running from or to something or someone. Usually, I was seeking a change.

I was embarrassed. The friend who had challenged me to create the list was aghast. She had spent her entire life within fifty miles of the city in Maine, where she had grown up. She asked me what I remembered most of them. Not much, I confessed. The memories were of the journeys between locations. Of “moving to and fro in the earth and up and down in it.”

“So now you identify with the Devil?” she quipped. “No, not exactly. It’s just a good response to people when they ask you where you’ve been traveling.”

“The real moving experience isn’t where you wind up. It’s how you get there.”