(July 2005) From Rob Breszny’s Free Will Astrology:
HELP WANTED. Practical dreamers with high emotional intelligence needed to become experts in the following subjects: the art of possessing abundant resources without feeling greed or a sense of superiority; the science of cultivating luxurious comfort in a way that does not lead to spiritual sloth; and a knack for enjoying peace and serenity without diluting one's ambition.
Rob has described the exact space I struggle to create for myself—somewhere with time and emotional space to write and make art that still allows luxurious hours with my family and time for attentive dedication to my students and their work.
He is so freaking cool, tells this great story about being on the highway beside a woman who was so busy talking on her cell phone that she cut him off in traffic. He slammed on his brakes to keep from rear-ending her and then she changed lanes again. His immediate response was to yell, especially after she slowed down to pull up alongside his window, glare at him, and shoot a bird.
Then he looked down at this cool origami star that a friend had made for him and was suddenly filled with love instead of rage. He decided that this driver really needed this gift more than he did, so he threw the star into her car.
It landed on the seat beside her and she picked it up and looked at it with a flabbergasted look on her face. Then she got into the far right lane and slowed down.
I love this story, especially because I am Road Rage Mama of the Free World when I forget to pay attention. I don’t like this attitude that assumes that everyone else on the road should be moving at whatever speed I deem most convenient for me, but sometimes get so wrapped up in trying to get from Point A to Point B on time that I forget that we’re all just fragile busy people, trying to live our lives as best as we can.
(but must we do it in the left lane?)
I drove to my parents' house in a daze after my grandmother died, still feeling her frail hand in mine as she drew her last breaths. Then my mom sent me to the all-night store for coffee and coffeecake (since people would be coming by in the morning to offer their condolences).
The store is beside the hospital and, as I drove by in the wee hours of the morning, a hearse pulled out carrying what had to be the body of my beloved grandmother.
(Yes, my parent’s town is that small.)
I loved her without reservation and can say that she was the brightest light in my otherwise difficult childhood. And, yes, I do know she was fortunate to live 86 years in relatively good health. And most of the time I understand how thankful I should be, but I just lost it when I saw that hearse and, without thinking, stopped my car right in the middle of the highway and began sobbing.
These days, when I get irritated at drivers, I try to remind myself that I work near a hospital and that the chances are good that some of the drivers who are sharing the road with me are there because someone they love is ill or dying.
And I try to, well, yield
(which sometimes works).