Monday, November 13, 2006

Sunday Scribblings

I liked this idea...will be doing more of this! Sunday Scribblings gives a writing prompt on Saturdays...

The prompt this week is a quote: "I don't want to be a passenger in my own life." (Diane Ackerman)

I don’t want to be a front seat passenger. I can’t read maps. And driving makes me nervous, even with someone experienced in the front seat, letting me know where to turn and stop and find the best roadside cafĂ©.

I like being a back seat passenger, because I don’t have to do anything other than sit and be quiet. I can read a book, curl up in a ball and let the movement rock me to sleep. I can stare out the window and daydream into a stupor. I can escape.

The truth is, in life, I usually take shotgun. I start grabbing the map and reinterpreting it, getting things upside down and tangled up. I complain about the direction and the speed and the scenery but don’t do a single constructive thing that might change the route and put me onto level terrain again.

Sometimes I think things would be a lot better off it I just sat quietly...

Car imagery is prone to early failure and mechanical breakdown, metaphorically speaking. I prefer walking. It takes me down paths that are sometimes paved and sometimes not, muddy or rocky or covered with tiny white flowers that smell like summer and honeysuckle. Walking takes me through breathtaking terrain and breathshaking bairros. It’s hiking through forest and mountain, watching the sky and the ground simultaneously, going slow enough to take the beauty in and watch out for dangers, going fast enough that you can see where you’ve been but not quite exactly what’s over the next hill. And if you see something interesting, there;s a chance to bend down and look at it without worrying about causing an accident or going the wrong way down a one-way street. Cars move too quickly for me. They’re so efficient that there’s no time for anything else. I’ve lived without a car now for over two years. It’s lovely. I have time to think. I have time to read. I have time to talk to people. I save money on gym fees. But mostly, it lets me live more than I did before. Frees me to see God in the nature and people that I would have been protected from with my own ride, my own little bubble to take me to and from all those desperately urgent appointments. Frees me to slow down and get some perspective on life. Frees me to take a deep breath, close my eyes, and step out into the day, humming.

I don’t want to be a passenger in my own life. I want to get out of the car!


Kay said...

I love the thought of getting out of the car. Well done!

Anonymous said...

That was a unique twist. Bravo.