Friday, January 13, 2017

The View From The Back Seat (Dec. 20, 2010)

I am rarely the passenger. Mostly, I drive. And I mean this literally, at least in terms of where I am sitting right now while typing, but, of course, like most posts, I also mean this in the largest sense of the word. I am not a comfortable passenger. This is my achilles heel. I'm sure if I felt like sharing I could outlay all the reasons from my past, from my years of digging, why I need to hold the reins. But those are boring and personal and beside the point. Its not really about the reasons in the end. Its just about the thing itself. The days of allowing someone else to drive, while I try to enjoy the view and not look at the map, not program the GPS, not suggest the alternate, faster or more direct route, not take matters into my own hands. Just sit and listen. Its not from some arrogant place of "I know best" because, believe me, I know I don't. I'm a willing learner. Sitting in the passenger seat is like that dream I have of being in the front seat of the roller coaster and they've forgotten to strap me in and the bar isn't locked and we're about to do the loopdeloop. I KNOW danger is ahead and there's no stopping it. And really, this is where I need to go back for a masterclass. With all my yoga and meditation and therapy and self-exploration and even my days and years of songwriting and poetry and blogging and yapping through my confusing journey here on this earth, I would love to have a personal guru, like the Dalai Lama, who could sit in miniature on my shoulder and whisper reminders to me. "Lean into the conflict. There is something to learn." "Detach" "Keep firm boundaries" etc. Sounds like dribble from a mid-90's self help book. But I could use the tshirt with the logo sometimes. Couldn't we all?

So I sit in the back seat while my friend drives. He gets distracted and looks at his phone and looks out over the landscape and the car wiggles and maybe he drives a bit too slow or a bit too fast or a bit too close to the truck in front. And my shoulders tense and I watch, my foot actually sometimes presses against the floor of the backseat, the kinetic memory of pressing the pedal myself. And so to write this is to remind myself that to my right are the snow covered Blue Ridge Mountains and valleys and to my left another valley and I can listen to music or write this blog or read a book or just take a nap. I can meditate or think about my dog lying waiting for me at home. I can make a list of things that bring me joy. I can choose to be a calm passenger and trust that, although danger might lurk ahead, right now, in this moment, there is nothing to fear and everything to take in.

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