Yesterday I saw my friend Anthony. Three years ago we backpacked from Costa Rica all the way to the southern-most town in Tierra del Fuego and then back up into Brazil. Two years before we roadtripped from Miami to Montana and spent a summer working as bus drivers for a whitewater rafting company. He’s a good travel companion.
But nothing epic happened yesterday. I drove to his house in the afternoon and spent a little while helping him and another friend, Ben, clear out some vegetation in Anthony’s garden. We got some dinner at one of our old highschool hangouts and drove over to another friend’s house, who recently finished law school and had two of his law school buddies over.
We all watched the Heat game and after Wade and company had sealed the game, Anthony and Ben got up and started kicking around a soccer ball. I joined them. None of us are anything special with a soccer ball, but we took turns dribbling and making little precision passes to each other in the dimly lit backyard.
It reminded me of things Anthony and I’d done in South America. A solo Japanese traveler named Minoru whose path sometimes overlapped ours had always kept a soccer ball on him as a way of making friends. It worked with us; as the three of us had waited at bus stations for upcoming departures we’d kicked around and tried tricks.
Now, Anthony, Ben, and I were doing the same. Anthony is going back to Colombia in about a month to teach English and see more of the country. Ben has talked to me about wanting to live in Buenos Aires for awhile. I’m heading back up to Pittsburgh pretty soon so I can work a few freelance editorial projects, save up, and travel again.
There was a good vibe. It feels good to be on the verge of departure. The three of us hustled around the ball for awhile and finally Anthony smiled and said something.
“The lawyers are sitting over there. Talking. The artists are over here. Creating.”
I rolled his words around in my mind. It was true. Even if dribbling a soccer ball isn’t much, we were creating. Not to mention Anthony and Ben are musicians, and good ones. They make their living elsewhere but both are big talents on the drums and guitar respectively. They are creators. I’m a writer, and I hope a good one. Starting this blog has helped me keep creating.
And what might be more creative than anything else is that we’re travelers. The trips we take are our creations. We take pride in them and often eagerly present them to the rest of the world. We do it in our music, writing, pictures, however we tell our stories.
My recovery’s almost over. I have one more follow-up with my surgeon. I can barely contain my excitement to be out in the world again. Creating.