I am discovering that when I am frazzled for any number of reasons that smush together with no one thing outstanding, that driving sedately helps. No one on the road but you. In the rearview, the road ribbons back in an upward slope, suggesting space, silence, and just what one needs to get quiet enough to think. It is labor day weekend and today is a full moon. Things are shifting, changing, as one phase slips into the next, and things need to settle. Be present in each moment, a friend advised as I debated whether to sit and work at a cafe, or if I should first buy a pastry in good faith, while waiting for my smoothie–honestly, amid all this privileged life, what do I have to be frazzled by?
For any work to get done, I do think one needs quiet. Stillness is a better word. One wants to mindfully dissolve into one’s surroundings, but alert. One wants to be capable, receptive, not annoyed by triviality. My solution was to buy milk and cheese, acutely aware that what I really needed was hot ginger tea to battle the telltale scratch in my throat that signals cold. Or allergy. But the real solution was to drive in a new route. I thought to stop in at the garden center and walk among the plants with my smoothie, but I remembered the milk. So I drove through the gorgeousness that is where I live. The dappled shade of the beach forest and the fawn-colored dunes. I passed a mild snarl of traffic–two cars, two bikes–but soon left it behind. I listened to music by saxophonist Claude Lawrence.
In all honesty, I did not carry the calmness in my heart forward, back at my home. But I did decide to sit down and write.