from my the house across the street

live, love, laugh, and remember to play everyday!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Drive Time

Here I am, once again, heading down the road in Pearl, my trusty '99 Civic. She and I have been exploring and adventuring for eight years now. A glance at the odometer reminds me of the hours and miles Pearl and I have spent in each other's company. We've done only a couple long-hauls together; most of our trips are under three hours. Others have talked about how bored they get, especially when they travel the same route time and time again.
My drive time is usually my best "thinking" time. I settle in as my body takes over this activity that requires little conscious direction: put on the seatbelt, turn the key in the ignition, move hand to shift into reverse to back out of the driveway, shift again, and begin moving forward. Once I leave the city streets behind, when I no longer have to deal with unmarked intersections and traffic signals changing color, the right side of my brain takes over, and I enter a state in which anything can happen.
Sometimes I mull over puzzling and problematic situations. I might find myself mentally drawing up plans for a creative project, seeing how things will--or won't--come together, trying other approaches and possibilities. With mind wide open, the pieces begin snapping into place, the circuits make their fabulous connections, and the solutions find me.
Other times I ponder things that lead to more pondering.............what is the deal that churches are starting to look more like car dealerships than churches? And what about their huge marquees that tower over the freeway, giving the time and temperature in three versions: on earth, in heaven, and in hell. Or why would someone build a million-dollar home in a place where the view is of the four-lane highway that passes within short walking distance of the front door? Would I scream if I hit a deer on the highway? (Yes!) Why do they build bridges now that prevent me from seeing the creek or riverbed below? The sign at the approach says Peno Creek, North Fork of the South River, or maybe there is no sign. There is a bridge with concrete walls---I assume there is something it passes over, but you can't prove it by me! And do other people think about these things?
Yesterday I drove under a brilliant blue sky, past fields that have been harvested, wooded hillsides and bluffs, and patches of red, yellow and orange scattered here and there. The bright hues, against the deepening blue of a sky at dusk, with the nearly-full moon on the rise, imprinted themselves in my heart. Emotion was stirred, my breath caught sharply in my throat as I felt the swell of tears---how grateful I am that there is such beauty. How lucky I am that I get to carry this image with me, breathing in the colors over and over, letting them fill me up, centering and grounding me in absolute bliss.


Anonymous Chrysti said...

Hi Ellen -- been trying to email you about the skinny book, but it keeps getting returned -- can you please contact me with status of your pages?


4:33 PM  
Blogger Artist in Progress said...

Someties I ask myself the very same questions, there is something wrong but can't put my finger on it. Maybe the world is just moving too fast, rushing toward something we can't see. I say slow down and take in the beauty like you do on the road.

12:49 PM  

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