<July 23/13> Or

  • Morning off the rails

  • Invisible Conservation Area

  • Emotions almost ran away with me…

So, this morning I went out in the car, quite excited, to head for a nice walk at a nearby conservation area a new friend had told me about. I had Google-mapped it, but hadn’t really paid close attention to the details (truth = I can be a tad too cavalier about details).

Well OMG. 

What a debacle!

Short story: I never did find it!?

I returned home a chastened, frustrated & very hot Janet.

What was sort of notable to me was the parade of emotions/moods I passed through in a fairly short space of time.

I left feeling cheery, optimistic, excited

Enjoyed the beautiful scenery I was passing through

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful 

When it became apparent I was “lost,” the mood changed fast.

I became impatient.

When I wanted to stop the car by the side of the road to consult a map & possibly turn around, I couldn’t for miles & miles: nowhere to stop + obnoxious driver so close on my butt I could barely breathe (drivers who do not take advantage of their passing opportunities drive me nuts!). I grew angry.

& swore at the woman.

Oops! No prizes for equanimity for me today, nosirree Bob. 

I kept driving.

Stopping. Looking at maps that gave me no help whatsoever. It was like trying to find a word in a dictionary when you haven’t the first CLUE how to spell it (maybe it starts with a silent letter you are not suspecting??).

I was close to tears, I was so frustrated.

I felt that sensation around my throat that I feel when I am really sad or lonely, or Shitty with a capital S.

(I reflected once again that when ET – Eckhart Tolle – says to get quiet & feel the life in your body, I always think “Oh dear. Flunked that assignment!”)

There are many sensations I can feel in my body. (Not going to get naughty here.)

There’s the aforementioned gripping sensation around my throat.

And, when I get really angry, my heart starts to pound noticeably in my chest. (I’ve been known to ask more than one person “Could we please stop talking now? My heart is pounding & I know I’ll just blow if I keep on talking. Time-out, please!!”)

Other things came up.

  • Bitterness

  • Oh poor me

  • Blame.

I wanted to blame the friend who told me about the blasted conservation area. But she did give me some directions, & she also suggested I Google-map it. This getting lost business was strictly my very own fault. 

I think there are some nice metaphors in this little escapade.

Life as map? Well - directions help, but they only point to things. We have to get down in the muddy gucky swamp ourselves to find out what things are really like.

For sure, it was a stark lesson in how rapidly our emotional “weather” can change.

& not to try & “hold on” to any of it.

It’s intense! Whether joyful or painful.

& it will pass – especially if we let go & let it blow right on through.

(All the wise Buddhist teachers have known this forever, of course. Leonard Cohen too…)

Sometimes I think I’ve gotten a little better at standing back & watching the play of things from a bit of a distance. For which I am grateful.

No question though, I still get “carried away” at times. (A very notable one of those instances pretty recently. Ahem. And then, of course there was today…)

What can I say?

We human beings are all too human.



Part II:  <July 28>

Yes, I tackled it again! This time, having Google-mapped it & carefully written down directions on a piece of paper.

Didn’t help much. I STILL got lost. Even more lost, I'd venture to say.  

Of course it didn’t help that a road I needed to turn down was not marked. No sign whatsoever. That didn’t help matters at all. As I drove along, lost & frustrated, & looking for the metaphors in my situation, I thought “Yeah. In life there is never a sign that warns you ahead of time, down that road lies serious heartbreak” ... is there?     

Maps are good, but they don’t guarantee too much.

It was a fairly hellish excursion. When I did finally find the blasted conservation area, I’d no sooner gotten out of the car than it started to spit. (I had looked at the weather forecast before I left, & rain was being forecast for the afternoon. But I should have been there, had my walk, & got back home again before afternoon!)

It’s alright. I did get a bit of a walk in – it was indeed a lovely spot, & I had it all to myself.

Then I got lost some more on the way home (one thing I haven’t explained is that there are 2 quite different routes to get to this place, & I’ve tried & thoroughly bunged up both, by now. The “way home” was not as straightforward as it sounds).

I did manage to put together the thought that the sensation I get around my throat when I am very sad or lonely is the same one I get when feeling lost, & that feeling lost feels pretty much like feeling abandoned.

Not sure there’s much of use in that.  

I also think, now that I’m back safe & sound (& have vowed never to attempt that outing, ever again, thank you very much!), that all this getting lost & going ‘round in circles is not so very far off the mark right now. I am feeling a bit lost & a bit as though I’m going around in circles these days.

So, as in life, so in life!

Or something like that…


p.s. it’s possible I got so lost this 2nd time so the Universe would give me the opportunity to hear the re-broadcast of the awesome interview CBC host Michael Enright did in February 2013 with Paul Saltzman about the documentary ‘The Last White Knight’ that he made about his own experience with a KKK-er who assaulted him 40 years ago when he was involved in the civil rights movement in the southern U.S. Fascinating, fascinating, fascinating interview!

‘Quote of the Day’ with this post: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Plato, Greek author & philosopher in Athens (427 B.C. – 347 B.C.)