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Note from the Middle… of the Road. part 2

September 13, 2012

I ease up on the gas, maintaining a limit of 65.  I do not ease up on my death grip on the steering wheel.  I’m leaning forward, every muscle tensed and tuned into every sound coming from the car.  I need to intuit what the eff is going on, and apparently pressing my chest into the steering wheel facilitates the connection.  The gauges are telling me everything is copasetic; all the needles are in the normal range and well away from troublesome red zones.  Everything feels fine.  But the light is on.  But I saw a shooting star.  Wait, is a shooting star the same as a falling star?  Maybe a falling star is a negative omen.  Falling isn’t a positive image.  But falling in love is good.  But physically speaking falling conjures breaking. I am breaking down.  Better me than the car.  No.  No breakdowns.  Deep breath.  Om gum ganapatayi namaha. Back to chanting.

Here’s the thing with chanting, it helps stop the chatter and the panic.  It gives me focus and the repetition soothes.  There is absolutely nothing else I can do.  It’s almost ten o’clock, there’s no shoulder to pull over onto, and where I’m headed is where the tow truck would come from – I just have to get there.  I keep chanting.  I know it’s helping, studies say so.  I chant all the way to the Best Western in St. George UT.

I lose an hour crossing through Arizona, the bedside clock says it’s 11:00 pm.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been projected into the future, but as I collapse on the edge of the pillow-top bed I know everything is going to be all right.  I remember the flash of green and the same euphoria rushes through me.  It was green.  Green is good.  I know it sounds loopy.  I know I’m practicing magical thinking.  Joan Didion says we, the bereaved, live by symbols, reading meaning into the arbitrary and coincidental.  I take comfort in knowing that St. George was my mother’s secondary school and that the address I repeat driving down St. George Blvd is three sixteen.  John 3:16 was the only scripture I could quote back to her and now it’s become the final mantra of day one’s drive. I believe in magic.  All the signs are good.  Laura Day calls this “Practical Intuition”.  Whether it’s magic or intuition, I believe we all have an intuitive sense of ‘knowing’ but much of it is overridden by rational thought. This road trip is a quest to get the balance right.

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