Traffic Mindfulness Leaving Tom Thumb

October 10, 2009

Cat meditation with toes

Cat meditation with toes


I spent the day shopping and getting my hair cut.  I went to a thrift store and got 2 100% wool jackets that will be stripped into rug fiber and one wool jacket my son nabbed.  (He does enjoy a good sports coat.)  I went to Walmart twice… forgot some stuff and decided to get veggies for dinner… and got some $3.50 Merlot.  I’m a classy gal.  Finally Tom Thumb beckoned because I needed Elmer’s glue and something I’d forgotten to get at Walmart. Vinegar.  I’m going to dye some wool and someone told me that if you set the color with vinegar it comes out brighter than if you set it with salt. 

So, I’m leaving Tom Thumb and I have to turn left to get to my house.  There’s no light at the corner, and always a lot of traffic.  If the car in front of you doesn’t GO when there is a clearing you could be there for a long time.  I’m sitting there behind an SUV watching for her next chance to hit the gas when a woman in yellow ochre warm ups and matching shoes smiles and waves enthusiastically at the car in front of me.  Oh, no.  The woman in that car PUTS HER CAR INTO NEUTRAL to talk to the woman. 

I think, oh, well, they’re city dwellers, they understand how traffic works and will arrange to chat by phone or Facebook later.  Only they don’t.  The driver rolls down the window and the ochre walker leans in for a comfy chat with a long lost friend she is at real risk of never seeing again.   

At that moment, here comes the rare and coveted opening in the traffic, and the driver is oblivious, so I tap my horn.  It’s a polite little Honda Element “Beep”… just a little “ahem” letting them know that it’s time to MOVE IT!  I smiled and gestured to the fleeting opening with festive nod.

Ochre lady puts up her hand toward me in a “Stop” fashion and when I tootle again, she waves downward several times in the universal “Get the hell out of here!” gesture.  About 6 cars were piled up behind me by now.  This time I honk and hold for a couple of seconds and Ochre GLARES at me as if I am the rudest woman on Earth.  I look in my rearview and other people are raising their hands in, “WTF” fashion. 

The driver pulls over into an area BETWEEN THE INCOMING AND EXITING TRAFFIC and stops.  I squeeze around, and miraculously there is just enough room to escape from the parking lot before the next traffic flood begins.  As I pass the SUV, the ochre lady steps forward and glares at me. 

I drive away and I’m thinking, seriously, have you never been around cars before? 

So, I drove away pretty ticked off, and set about wondering what’s the zen way to deal with that?  Well, Despite being a Meditator Tot, I know it’s to acknowledge that it happened, to acknowledge that it pissed me off, and once all that acknowledging is done, to just let it the heck go.  No worrying about why she might have been such a bitch (Does she have cancer?  Did her dog just die? Is she just made that way?) or why the two of them completely forgot how traffic works (maybe they’ve been living on a mountain in Tibet for the past 7 years or they had simultaneous strokes on the entry to the Tom Thumb parking lot.) 

I came home and got the guys to help me stow the groceries and I put some lentils to cook on the stove, with garlic, onions, celery, tomatoe and… well, I forget what all else but it smells great and I hope those lentils are done soon!  But in the back of my head I’m still dealing with the ochre warm-ups lady and her matching shoes and matching hair and the blood red SUV’s driver, and the ugly look on Ochre lady’s face as I squeezed my Element past the social corner. 

I haven’t let it go yet.  I think I need to sit with it mindfully because I am still stuck in it.  I think I’m trying to run away from it rather than acknowledge it, and I think that’s why I can’t let it go. 

I also think I kind of want to stay pissed at the ochre lady.  But I think if I’m going to get better at being a human I don’t want to let her stay in my head making me irritated any more. 

My caramel and ochre colored cat, Yoda, is curled up on my gold alpaca wool pillow sham in the guest room which used to be my office.  I’m thinking he’s going to be the subject of my next hooked rug.  He’s washing his face.  He’s not worrying about ochre warm ups or matching shoes or ochre hair on angry faces.


Meditator Tot

One Response to “Traffic Mindfulness Leaving Tom Thumb”

  1. Sarah Says:

    I got into Zen and Zazen for many of the same reasons it seems, and, I too, have a rough time with letting go of negative experience especially involving traffic and selfish people. This is amplified by my living in New York. I really try to be considerate and do the right thing and when I run across a situation like you mentioned above, I have no idea how to just leave it at the incident site. And if someone gives me the finger I get my panties all in a twist cause I am overly sensitive which I realize is a useless act that only brings me more suffering. Logically, I know it is useless and a total waste, but I’ve yet to conquer it.
    Now you yell at Kagome’ to stop hooking the couch and he thinks you are FINALLY acknowledging him for play time, he doesn’t even recognize annoyance let alone hold on to it. In fact, he now is in the habit of hooking the couch just to get my attention. I have learned that with him (he’s no Einstein like my last cat who I would just give a ‘look’ to and he’d sigh and comply without my even having to be given specifics) there is no communication and have given him the sofa. Hook away my little fuzzy friend, I give in. I let go of the couch, but I still carry with me the beer truck guy who wouldn’t let me come over into his lane and when I finally did he gave me the finger. I am often humbled at how slow a learner I am with these things.

    You’ve a great blog. thanks!

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