Having experienced another personal loss over Christmas 2018, the return back from our terrible holidays saw me steer the car into my local library to browse the stacks in search of something to fill my gutted soul. Whenever I go through a period of sadness, I find myself gravitating toward tales of travel. It’s something about the author’s process of going through a difficult period far from home that somehow helps me deal with my own lot, I suppose.
It is whilst browsing that I found the perfect grieving companion in the prose of Neil Peart, drummer and lyricist for RUSH who is one heck of a travel writer. I have been reading Peart’s books for years, starting with his cyclist journeys through Africa in the Masked Rider (a personal favourite). The book of choice this month, Far and Wide: Bring That Horizon to Me! is the third in a triptych of Far and — tomes, that has Neil recount his experiences of traveling between shows on his BMW during RUSH’s R40 tour.
Other aspects of Neil’s life during this period also make their way in Far and Wide, sharing very personal pieces from past and present – his interactions with his new young family, the pain and loss of losing his wife and daughter 20 years ago, the physical endurance of drumming, memories of recording certain albums, and his thoughts on retirement…Some of this subject matter has been covered in his previous books, but here he shows evolvement and growth. He also infuses the writing with his own brand of humour. Interesting pics of his journeys round out a very interesting scrapbook of his life at the time.
Neil Peart is forever a private person, but an interesting one; perhaps that’s what attracts me to his easy prose. Far and Wide was the kind of book I really needed to read this past month. I highly recommend it!
Far and wide: bring that horizon to me! / Neil Peart