The traffic has never been as bad as it has been since the floods. “Detour routes” is what they’re calling it. There’s still parts of the city that are impassable. The detoured routes happen to be right where I live so my 3 mile drive home from work has taken anywhere from 30 minutes to, like today, an hour and 45 minutes.
After work today, before I realized that my route home would equate to the reading time of War and Peace, I started on my drive. Providing I’m not rushing to get anywhere else it’s usually a calm drive. I have my music and just a little bit of peace as I keep my phone on mute and sing along to whatever comes on. Today, however, a song came on that I couldn’t stand and I decided to turn off the radio completely. There I was sitting behind three accidents without any exit in sight with nothing but the quiet hum of my car.
I have been reading about different types of meditation to find one that’s a bit easier for me. I’m not so good at regular meditation so I did this thing where you actually train your brain to “chase away” thoughts and it’s a long winded explanation but it actually worked for a moment. So, there I was without a thought at all and my mind felt so empty and light. This was a feeling that I haven’t felt for a very long time. It was a peaceful, tranquil moment and in that very moment, when I didn’t think of anything, I felt happy. I wasn’t trying to be happy. I wasn’t doing something that made me happy. I was just happy in that moment because I wasn’t thinking about anything or anyone. For that instance, there was no deadline, contract, or proposal that had to be done. I wasn’t thinking about getting my steps in through exercise or what I needed on a grocery list or the stack of dishes that had been there for a week.
So my obvious summation of that moment was that I needed to practice some sort of meditation or request some amnesia inducing blunt force trauma soon. I realize that being in a peaceful place in my head is something that I’m not sure I’ve ever really felt. I grew up way too fast and had way too many things to think about from a young age which is partial why the appeal of drugs was so vast. Even my first true love, music, can sometimes betray me. I find myself listening to a lyric or ten and realizing that those words were ripped out of my own head or heart and for a brief moment I feel vulnerable or violated until I realize that there’s some sort of sick sadistic comfort in knowing that someone else has felt that type of pain.
But I know that silence is something that I don’t hear much and not just symbolically in my head but in reality. While I’m at work, there’s the clicking of keyboards, ringing of phones and the faint sounds of everyone else’s music co-mingled with mine. On any one of my many drives to no where of importance there’s the sound of my music or the teeth gritting noises of traffic, construction or emergency vehicles. When I’m at home there’s a grotesque sound that comes from my fridge, the background noise of the TV, upstairs neighbor or people chatting outside. While I’m in bed there’s the sounds of a beautifully hypnotic thunderstorm that is supposed to induce my sleep. Never is there nothing.
This might be why, on some of my more elaborate running away day dreams, I dream of a far off forest where I just pitch a tent and sleep under the stars far off from the noises of a city life. But, to this day, it’s just a day dream never having come to fruition. Peace… Peace of mind, heart, soul and sounds is what I am craving right now. This is why they say, “Ignorance is bliss”. If you’re ignorant to most everything then you have nothing to worry about. Me, on the other hand, worries every day. I worry about work, family, my future, my friends, my place in all of this.
My peacefulness in my drive tonight only lasted a moment, until I was ready to come back to reality. Since my reality is worrying about everything I suppose I had some catch up to do. I worry about my job. Works crazy and we’re about to go through something very big in the company and I’m worried about the other employees. I worried about my family and what we are going to do about my mothers birthday and since it’s on the same day as mother’s day it’s especially hard to come up with something new and different every year. I worry about my health because I worry about everything else so much it’s usually the last thing on my mind. I worry about friendships and the future… It’s amazing what you can worry about in such a short amount of time, if given the chance.
Being that I’m a control freak, it’s hard to just “let go and let God”. Truth is, I still don’t think he listens to me or if he does then there’s parts of my life that are for His soul purpose of making me a punch line. Okay, maybe I don’t actually believe that but this is not where I would have put myself 20 years ago.
One more thing that made me happy though is the chance for more rain this weekend. I know that sounds selfish considering there’s so much water everywhere round here but rain and thunderstorms has always given me an excuse to stay home and be sort of a bum. There’s speculation that Saturday and Sunday will bring floods again and this time I’ll probably be entertaining myself through the storms, unlike last time. I haven’t heard from my friend and not even sure he was bothered by my sleep retreat last Sunday or if he even noticed. I, of course, worried about that friendship too on my drive home. I worried that his attention span or his patience will get the best of him and he’ll find something new to do on Sunday’s now. But because I’ve thrown up my hands in defeat I’m not sure that his absence will destroy me like it has in the past. I’ve decided that whatever happens is what’s meant to happen. I’ve done all I can with us. I’ve been patience, nice, kind, loving and understanding. I think I’m just exhausted at giving a shit anymore which has always been a one way street.
We shall see what this weekend has to offer though. What I’m expecting or actually hoping for is an early rise on Saturday with coffee and then to just bundle up on the couch and watch a list of documentaries that I saw of flipboard. I’m expecting to come in and out of a sleep induced coma all day and maybe, just maybe, get a small bit for work done. I might even choose to turn off my phone starting Friday night till Monday morning. Possibly indulge in a bit of wine. I don’t know but so far, none of the requests to “do something” this weekend have filled me with near as much happy as the moment that I thought of absolutely nothing today.
Today’s drive was a blissful piece of happy that I needed. Sometimes, silence really is golden.