I have moments where I feel as though I want to take my soul and sever it from my body. Not in a suicidal manner, but in a desire to be free. A hope to fly. I often wonder why I can't simply shed whatever it is that holds me bolted to the ground. I stare out windows in moving vehicles and my mind reaches through the trees and clouds and finds a place where I am alone with nothing but myself, a place where I have achieved a fresh start--a fresh thought--and there is nothing limiting me from being.
I often think of Virginia. I roll the word in my mouth and as my tongue presses it against the roof of my mouth the juices leak out and seep like a narcotic into my system, and I feel. I'm taken to there, to Virginia, that same place my mind travels when the world outside my window isn't enough. It started with Jason Mraz. His story of uprooting and forsaking everything to shed the old and build the new with nothing but biology and telephone wires tying him home; to be in that place where he could Be. It inspired me. He went east and found it: California. It sucked him in, it called him back, it altered his life completely. Being, myself, already in the western portion of the continent, I began to feel that if I were to find what he found, if I were to ever let go and shed what blocks the light from my eyes, I would need my own California. I would need to go east.
So I named it Virginia.
But as the years have passed it has become all the more clear that I cling so desperately to Virginia not as a geographic ideal, but as a state of Being. It may well be that, should I ever truthfully set foot upon Colonial soil, that my expectations would only be half-met. It's not about the plantation houses or the cobbled walkways anymore. No, there are too many dreams hanging off the unlimited branches of the legionous trees. Virginia is where I will be once I shed the clutter that wraps around my ankles and binds me at my wrists and grips me, fettered, to the stonework of my own soul's dungeon.
But as fixed as I am on the idea that Virginia will render me emancipated, I am unable to pick the locks here beside these mountains. My entire self is convinced that to find this Utopia and to breathe the breath of liberation I must first forsake these surroundings. It is as though once I traveled such a distance as it would be to reach Virginia, it would be too hard to return for all the clutter and chains the strangled me back home. I would be free of it all.
Alone with myself.
I'm afraid to do it without the physical abandonment of this place. I am afraid to reach Virginia without reaching Virginia. Instead I look out windows and let the man who used his California to change my life carry me to where I stand outside the limits of Virginia, ounces from the entrance, seeing all I'll have when I get there, but unable to shake the shackles enough to take the step.