How to get there

23 May 2005 at 23:27 (General)

I look at my brother with some envy. School looks so good. You’re with your mates, you’re all doing the same thing. You have a clear objective, to get to the end of the year.

The adult world isn’t so. I’m alone, my mates are doing other things. I don’t know where the end is. It may be slipping away for my brother but it has come and passed for me. It is no longer. I feel a little stranded here.

To get metaphoric, it’s like a road trip, we start out at adelaide, everyone is comfortable, we know this place. We all depart at roughly the same time, but via different modes of transport going slightly different speeds. To start with there’s hardly any difference, we are all within each other’s sight and we move along the road as a bunch. But as the journey continues, slowly and surely everyone moves apart.

Soon enough, some people have moved out of sight, but in a larger sense, things still seem all right. Sometimes we get to catch up with these fast movers when we stop for food but it never feels like everyone’s there anymore.

One day, as I’m plodding along, I notice that I’m alone on the horizon. It isn’t the loneliness that bothers me, I like being along, walking a few dozen metres from the group. It’s the fact that I don’t know how long it’s been like this and how long it will be like this. I know when we left the city, and I know when I last conversed with each of them, but I can’t pinpoint the moment where total isolation came into play. It snuck up on me. And I have no idea if I’ll see them again. They were going the same way when we set out but I don’t know if they’ve changed course. I don’t even know if I’ll make it there. It shouldn’t matter, but it’s one more security that’s vanished while I wasn’t paying attention.

I wonder about the decisions I’ve made, mode of transport, route, effort… Like always, I’m not attacking it like my peers choose to, but there’s no report, no way to weigh things up, not even a specific goal. I worry a little about where exactly this road’s leading me and if I really still want to go there. I feel tired but I’m too scared that I’ll lose track of everyone so I push onwards.


How to Get There
Go to the end of the path until you get to the gate.
Go through the gate and head straight out towards the horizon.
Keep going towards the horizon.
Sit down and have a rest every now and again, But keep on going, just keep on with it.
Keep on going as far as you can.
That’s how you get there

Michael Leunig



  1. Deirdre said,

    I love that Leunig cartoon, but I’ve always read it as saying that you never DO get there, and “getting there” isn’t even the point. The journey’s the thing.

  2. toto said,

    Yeah, fair call.

    I guess I agree, there’s nothing at the end to achieve, there’s a few pointers at the start but once you reach the gate the only advise is to give it a fair crack.

  3. Kent said,

    meh – perhaps this is not what Leunig meant – but I interpret it as satire. You don’t get anywhere by moving if you are aiming for the horizon.

  4. songstress said,

    Hey Hey.

    I have been thinking on this topic a lot lately. Here are some song lyrics for your digestion.

    Copyright Susan Johnson, 2005

    (I’m uber paranoid)


    There’s a dot on her question
    That she cannot hide;
    A lot of knocking on doors
    With fatigue at her side.

    The city’s never-ending;
    There’s not much time –
    She’s sick and tired of pretending.
    The road is hard to rely on –
    Infinite miles;
    Towards perpetual horizon.

    The little choir girl’s screaming.
    She’s wasting her mind
    Persisting on dreaming
    Her heart is aching to follow.
    The fool is conducting.
    She’ll wait ’til tomorrow.

    There’s a lot of good questions
    That she can but hide.
    A lot of knocking on doors
    With that fear in her eyes.

    The city’s less than forgiving
    And there is no time
    For what she calls living.
    The road is falling beneath her.
    Infinite miles;
    One unfortunate detour.

    The little choir girl’s screaming.
    She’s losing her mind.

    Her heart has ceased in believing.
    And there is no time.


    I guess we all give up being children at some point and some of us write songs about giving up so we never actually have to.


    Hope you are well.

  5. toto said,

    Hey hey. Great to hear from you. I’ve been missing you and Al. hopefully we can all meet sometime soon. I like your lyrics as always, I tried writing some the other day and it’s just hard. Well that’s probably my problem, I was trying too hard to go with a style, rather than just writing which was far more natural at the time.

    it’s a cool chorus you’ve got there. Looking forward to hearing it.

    I’m well enough, hope you are well to,
    love matty

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