In this essay, the author contrasts a journey with a commute. A journey involves none of the sameness or boredom of a commute. It is movement from point A to point B, pressing forward toward a goal or final destination in mind. It is Huckleberry Finn on the river, Frodo Baggins carrying the ring to Mordor, the Joads struggling toward an elusive California promised land. A commute, by contrast, is back and forth, repetition and circularity. Much of life, the author concludes, is not a journey. It is a commute. But sometimes “the tedium is interrupted at unexpected moments by shimmers of sublimity, when the ineffable shines through the sameness.”
This essay won first prize in the 2018 Richard H. Cracroft Personal Essay Contest.