Monday, March 5, 2012

The Song of My Road

Eyes on the road, I keep forwarding to the next song on my music player, trying to find one that can speak to what I feel. Not finding one, all I hear is the rain falling on the windshield and the tires pushing against the water as they press forward. The wipers attack the rain, furiously defending their patch of glass. But, the rain does not stop, invading the space as soon as the wipers go by.

I let the music player do what it wants, for now. The windows are fogging up, and the weather has taken a firm grasp on my attention. I don't want to hear that song right now, but the road will not allow distractions. Meanwhile, the tires continue to grab the road ahead and push it into the past, leaving only the sound of water splashing as it gives way.

I finally turn off the music player so I can think. But there's so much going on in my head right now, so I can't. A million thoughts are coming at me like the rain on the windshield. I try to make sense of it, pushing thoughts aside, waiting for the right one to make sense, to break through, but it's no use. I feel like the tires, grabbing the day ahead and pushing it into the past, leaving only the faintest memory as I make my way forward.

I had a nightmare a few days ago, where I was driving and was hit head on by a large vehicle. I woke up with a start. There was no life flashing, only the fog in my mind mind as I made the effort to bring my heartbeat back to normal. Perhaps I didn't survive the accident, having died in the dream only so I could wake up and take stock of where I am. Of who I am.

The last few months have been a frenzy, marking time on some cosmic odometer, at times too busy to see where I'm headed. Early days have been followed by late nights, a cycle that's become as mindless as the wheels chewing up the road. Littered alongside this road are more thoughts. More tasks. More intentions. I am paving my own road to a destination I hope I never see.

I remember a college class years ago where the professor asked us to imagine a taxi driver headed to the airport with a businessman in the back seat. The professor asked us to discuss what each might be thinking. I spoke of the businessman maybe wanting to spend more time time with his family, yet pulled away by his job. I spoke of regret and of the taxi driver glad to have the time to enjoy his loved ones.

Now, I have become those I have criticized. Twenty years later, I am the man in the back seat.

Forty-five minutes later, I pull into my parking space. This leg of my journey is over. I realize I have arrived. I have reached my goal. And yet, I remember nothing of my journey. Even the music was pushed aside, giving way to the dull, predictable soundtrack of wipers on glass, tires on wet road.

I never did find a song. Maybe there's a reason for that. The soundtrack for this journey cannot be written by someone else.  I have to write it.  I have to sing it.  I have to live it.  It is the song of MY road.  And it is not yet over.

H/T to Brigid for this post, which got me thinking.

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