From the author of Blue Like Jazz comes a road-trip memoir about three months spent crossing the country in a Volkswagen camping van, wondering out-loud if there is more to life than nine-to-five jobs, than the ruts the entire world seems to be stuck in. Follow Don and Paul as they dive headlong into the deepest of human questions and find answers outside words?answers that have to be experienced to be believed.
Day 1: "Trips like ours are greener grass left unknown for fear of believing trite sayings; sayings that are sometimes true. But our friends back home live an existence under the weight and awareness of times; a place we are slowly escaping; a world growing fainter by the hour and the mile."
Day 13: "It feels again that we are leaving who we were, moving on into the people we will become, hopefully, people with some kind of answers, some kind of thing to believe that makes sense of beauty, of romance. Something that would explain the red glow against Paul's face, the red glow that seems to be coming off the console.... 'Did you notice the engine light is lit, bud?' I ask...."
Day 83: "I sit in the van, waiting for her to come out when I notice a window in one of the classrooms open, and a backpack comes falling out, spilling a few books onto the lawn. After the backpack comes Elida, falling atop the pack and laying low, peeking back into the window to see if the teacher noticed. She gathers her books, reaches into the classroom and closes the window, then runs toward the van as though this were a prison break."
As you read Through Painted Deserts, you'll soon realize this is not just one man's account of finding light, God, and beauty on the open road. Rather, this book maps the journey you're already traveling...or soon will be.