Reflections On ‘An Inland Voyage’

Is this how “An Inland Voyage” is supposed to go?
Perhaps you know better than I do.
When I was thinking of names for this blog, I wanted something that could be interpreted on several levels.
In its first incarnation, the blog was actually called “Details of a Sunset.” It was taken from the title of a short story written by Vladimir Nabokov, who you may better know as the author of “Lolita.” (You should read that if you haven’t for its spellbinding use of language if not the famously lurid subject matter.)
When I decided to fire up the coals for the blog again, for some reason I didn’t think “Details of a Sunset” was a good fit for what I was trying to do.
I don’t quite recall how “An Inland Voyage” came to me, but as far as capturing the essence of this blog, I can’t imagine a better name.
To me, it brings to mind the process of writing and journeying inward in search of meaning. Of course, along the way, stops are made at various points of interest. If you have been traveling with me, even on an irregular basis, you’ve learned things about what resides behind my outer walls. I love music and film. I have an offbeat sense of humor. I appreciate the place where I live.
I try to mix the personal and the professional. Sometimes it’s difficult to navigate those waters satisfactorily, but the voyage continues all the same. That’s a good sign.
Living in the Great Plains along the Missouri River, I believe “An Inland Voyage” also evokes the geography and history of the Yankton region. I think of the steamboats that traveled up the Missouri River and the Lewis and Clark expedition. And, let’s be honest, the many Americans who live on the coasts still consider this a remote territory that, if they were made to travel here, could easily be considered a great voyage.
Finally, “An Inland Voyage” is also a reference to Robert Louis Stevenson’s travelogue of the same name. It was his first book, and the tome chronicles a trip a friend and he made through Belgium and France by canoe. (Read it here.)
Stevenson would go on to accrue much greater fame through books like “Treasure Island,” “Kidnapped” and “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”
Whether through his poetry (“A Child’s Garden of Verses”) or aforementioned novels, Stevenson has always been an inspiration to me.
I remember the thrill of reading “Treasure Island” for the first time in grade school. Many treasure hunts and sword fights followed.
From an early age, I was told that I was distantly related to Stevenson, and as a young writer I took this very much to heart. If he had succeeded with storytelling, why couldn’t I?
Well, I’m not going to sit here and claim that I’ve written anything close to as great as Stevenson did in his abbreviated lifetime. (He died at the age of 44, likely from a cerebral hemorrhage.) But I still have hope that, lurking somewhere within me, is at least one good story that a few people may enjoy even after I’m gone.
Time will tell.
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the stops along the way during this inland voyage. Some of the sights and sounds will undoubtedly be a bit strange, but I’ll do my best to be a gracious host and help you get through it all.

6 thoughts on “Reflections On ‘An Inland Voyage’

  1. You cover local news, your job, your love of indie movies and indie music, give us the occasional slice of life tale, tackle the economy and politics from time to time AND as an added bonus you’re not railing about kittens, recipes or kids.

    Win.

  2. You mean people are supposed to think before they write a blog post and hit publish? Damn, I knew I was doing something wrong.

    Shane said it well.

  3. I’ve been following your blog for about a month. I like it very much.

    I like that you are thoughtful and creative. I like that you sometimes consider simple things that are much more than that. I like your musing, thinking aloud.

    I find your blog a relaxing and interesting place to go. I get a strong sense of the “voyage” aspect, and it is a pleasurable to ride along. Thank you.

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