This was originally posted on http://www.yetthereismethod.net/
Interstate 65, southbound through Kentucky and Tennessee
Questions I would ask, if I could bear the pain
To the last family that lived in the dilapidated house just off the right of way, what was it like before the interstate came through? Was it quiet before the constant sound of engines and the smell of exhaust? Where are your descendants now, and do they know your stories of the homestead?
To the gentleman driving the truck with all of those bumper stickers, do you really want to express those sentiments toward that politician, and if so, what motivates you? What have you lost? What anguish have you suffered, and can it ever be made right?
To the officers who served with the trooper for whom that stretch of highway is named, what was he like? Could he crack a joke to ease the ever-present tension? Was he an inspiration to those around him? Do you still keep in touch with the family, and can the grief brought by that kind of loss ever heal?
To the farmer walking the hillside field eroded from the heavy rains that followed so many weeks of drought, how do you recover from a loss that’s measured in acres? Will crops grow in soil that won’t be revitalized in your lifetime? Can a chemical spray truly negate the damage?
To the family who maintains the roadside monument with yet another new teddy bear and the fresh pink balloons tugging against their moorings in the afternoon breeze, how do you drive this stretch of road, feeling the heartache that can’t ever go away?
To the vultures circling overhead in the thermals rising off that much asphalt, do you, one of the only species of birds with a sense of smell, find yourselves drawn to the essence of loss below you, or are you simply riding the winds of a beautiful day, unknowing and unaffected?
Questions I would ask, if I could bear the pain.