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meditation while driving a long commute

Updated on March 29, 2014

When you have a long commute to and from your place of business, you can only listen to so many how-to-improve-yourself tapes. And books on CD are great – except that you end up sitting in the parking lot or driveway to listen to the end of a chapter, and your mind isn’t really on the traffic as you drive.

When I realized I was telling myself jokes while I drove, I decided to get a tape recorder and start my own tape of Observations While Driving. Herein are some of my commentaries.

We just had 3” of snowfall and I’m driving to work. Unfortunately the drivers have gone completely bonkers and so driving is a little hazardous, not because of the roads or the view, but simply because of the people on it; nothing new. But as usual we’ll get through it, not worry about it at all. Route 2 was starting to look really pretty finally; it’s been looking pretty sad. The only time route 2 looks really boring is in the winter when it hasn’t had snowfall or ice storm. Now it has its lace, white collar and cuffs; it’s looking lovely again.

Just in time to get behind someone whose car is cold and covered with snow, which is illegal in CT. And they’re driving a car that looks like it says it’s a Nubra (?). On the right it says DAEWNever heard of it. Cute looking car.

I’ve managed to get this trip down to an hour from an hour and 10 minutes. Of course, I drive like AJVoit…

Valentine’s Day in the year 2000. I went to get into my car this morning to go to work and there was an aviator teddy bear from Manda for V-day and a couple of cards! I was running late, so I can’t open the cards till I get into work, but I now have a co-pilot!!

Route 66 – the lady in front of me is putting on mascara while she’s driving!! I love it.

This morning Lisa and I were talking about her boyfriend, and the fact that he was once a cocaine user and is now reformed. Of course, every time he’s acting ‘funny’ she immediately goes on the assumption that he’s doin’ drugs. She described what happened and I told her he is suffering from clinical depression and I know it because I’ve been there. I’ve had it since I was a little kid. I helped her with ways that she can function with him and help him, with the understanding of how a person feels when suffering from clinical depression. We get all done with the conversation and she said to me, “There is one thing I don’t understand. How can you suffer from clinical depression and have it all together the way you do?” And it struck me as just so funny. In some ways she’s right. Except of course you can’t cure yourself of something like that because it’s chemical, not emotional. And one of the factors of clinical depression is that you don’t want to be cured.. You just want to just keep folding up and dying. And she can’t understand how someone who can understand this and can help someone else can’t help themselves. And doesn’t appear to even need the help. It was something for me to stop and think about. My reaction to her was simply that it’s something that I don’t show. Part of the nature of the beast is that you don’t want people to know because you really don’t want help. And you don’t think they can help. I’ve just kind of accepted it. Hello Taoism. It’s part of life and part of what I have to cope with. I wasn’t about to sit there and tell her how this is my 53rd year and I had already decided 21 yrs ago that at this point Amanda would be 21; my desire to die during the divorce was something I could take up again because I wouldn’t have the responsibilities of Amanda. And I’m still tearing back and forth with it at many times because I don’t see why I should keep going. I almost think that Manda got pregnant so that I would keep going; the kids are aware of how I feel. They don’t know the whole story but they do know that this is the particular year that I have been preparing them for. I have to admit I resent my brother because he died at 53 and that was MY plan, dammit. Mum took his death very hard, as did I. She made it very clear that she did not want to bury another child, which kind of put the onus on me that I should continue so that SHE dies before I do. In some ways I resent that. I know it’s not very logical [is any of this logical?] In the meantime I’m just doing wackier and wackier things because this is my last day on earth. Part of that is seeking out possible male companionship; that would give me a reason to keep going. Financially I’m digging out of everything, so things are not as bleak. But there’s no future there except grandchildren, I suppose. I think it’s pretty awful to live for grandchildren. At the same time I know how important my parents were to my kids, especially not having a father and a typical family life. And I remember how important my grandparents were to me. In a way I don’t want the kids to say “I grew up without any grandparents.” David’s children – the grandmother on the other side of the family had a stroke, doesn’t speak English and doesn’t interact very much. The grandfather is very much involved in the children’s upbringing; he babysits them all day long. But he’s also an old man; I don’t know how long he’ll be around. Mandy’s children have Jeremy’s parents; as far as grandparents go they’re not the most involved in the world, as much as Mandy tries to pull them in on it, especially the father. So I’m kind of tossed back and forth as to what I’m going to do. And I promised myself that I would forgive myself if I didn’t die. Silly as that sounds. I wouldn’t say that I’m sitting here brooding the meaning of life; it’s gone way past that. It’s just – why bother?

There’s an ad on the radio for snow tubing. I gather that it’s like the water slides where you go thru a tunnel dug out of the snow, down a hill. What a scary thought! With my claustrophobia, just imagine going half a mile thru a white tube – it’s like having an MRI that moves.

I harken back to when our dog Taffy, a cocker spaniel used to go out the back dor then tunnel through the snow and scratch at the front door to come in. This annoyed my father because the dog would be in an unexpected new place. My brother and I liked to crawl thru the tunnels, which scared my Dad to death. I remember him yelling at us not to go into the tunnels the dogI harken back to my childhood memories. When I was a kid in Baldwin, our dog Taffy, a cocker spaniel, would go out the back door and dig a tunnel around the house to the front door, which would frustrate would dig. So I just wonder about the sanity of the people who would go thru those snow tubes.

It’s 6:21 in the evening the sky is a turquoise blue. The bridge between Middletown and Portland (over the CT River) is the same blue. It’s almost as if the bridge became part of the sky.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the most dangerous and impatient drivers are women in their 20s and 30s. This is especially unnerving when you consider they usually have kids in the car.

OK, here comes “If I were a carpenter”. This version is even worse than the original, which at least had a sort of folksy sound to it, so you could accept it in the context of the 12th century. This is a very sexist song. Basically it’s saying that because I’m a big hot shot, that’s the only reason you’re my woman. Would you be my woman if you were supposed to be dragging the sticks behind me and having my children. Really an awful song the more you think about it.

Hmm….have you heard…Momma’s gonna buy me a diamond ring…well, I do a damn site better just skatting…still not ready for prime time…

Driving down route 2 during a snow storm. It’s actually a lovely storm. It’s not bad; breezes, not freezing yet. Though I understand as I near Norwich it’s supposed to turn to sleet and ice sandwiches on the road. But we’re just poopin’ along at 40 mph and enjoying how pretty it is, listening to classical music, 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Good time to do this because people aren’t panicky at this hour – and it’s still daylight. I’ll be able to get home in the light.

I’m getting near the end of rte 66, and ever since Middletown there’s been this young fella in his 20s who seems really pissed that I edged him out of trying to pass me once. He’s tried passing on the right, passing on the left…really close to my car. He’s just not going to give an edge. It seems to be a little vendetta; every opportunity he gets he starts edging up to threaten me; when he knows he can’t, he drops back and drives like a sane person. In between, it’s like…hello..put it back in your pants!

OK. This is the second night in a row that I am doing 80 in the fast lane and some nut has cut me off – in the passing lane – doing 65.

Status is never quo.

Why is it social services agencies insist on you getting destitute before you apply -- then sit on the application for months before deciding for or against the application? How is one supposed to subsist until then? I once got denied food stamps (when husband abandoned pregnant me and our son). Their reasoning was that they could not figure ot how I had subsisted so long. Duh -- it's called a storm cellar mentality; my son and I lived off our pantry stores for a year and a half. My first brush with the civil service mentality.

I believe that each state has its own flavor: Connecticut - tailgating; New York - weaving; Massachusetts – wipe out the pedestrian; Virginia - speeding; Alabama - right turns from the left lane and vice versa; Pennsylvania - bullying.

Additional state characteristics from friends:

Here in Montana, people have a propensity for passing on the right side of the road--even driving off the road or onto the sidewalk if someone ahead of them stops or slows down. You take your life in your hands just to try and make a left-hand turn at an intersection! I remember being able to drive up to 80 MPH there without the fear of getting a ticket until it was dark.

Don't forget South Carolina - lack of turn signal use and Georgia - ignorance of the Speed Limit.

You missed New Jersey...stop signs? what stop signs????

You can tell the people in my area all played with slot car tracks as kids -- they all drive right up the middle of the road, as if the car has to be on the center of the double yellow lines to operate properly. [South Carolina]

Catching speeders on Route 2 is like bass fishing in a stocked pond.

New PC lyrics to "My Guy": ...my opinion is he's the Queen of the Hop...


Ya gotta worry when a shiny new red Mercedes coupe turns into a Salvation Army parking lot.

Oh, Lord…I don’t know what it is about VW drivers, but they are very strange. Not really aggressive…just…strange.

I’ve managed to get this trip down to an hour from an hour and 10 minutes. Of course, I drive like A. J. Voit…

Gas at the cheapest spot – Citgo – is $147.9 a gallon! That’s terrible! Such ‘typos’ are too close to reality of the near future. Could give a driver a heart attack.

Route 66 – the lady in front of me is putting on mascara while she’s driving!! I love it.

There’s an ad on the radio for snow tubing. I gather that it’s like the water slides where you go thru a tunnel dug out of the snow, down a hill. What a scary thought! With my claustrophobia, just imagine going half a mile thru a white tube – it’s like having an MRI that moves.

I harken back to when our dog Taffy, a cocker spaniel used to go out the back dor then tunnel through the snow and scratch at the front door to come in. This annoyed my father because the dog would be in an unexpected new place. My brother and I liked to crawl thru the tunnels, which scared my Dad to death. I remember him yelling at us not to go into the tunnels the dogI harken back to my childhood memories. When I was a kid in Baldwin, our dog Taffy, a cocker spaniel, would go out the back door and dig a tunnel around the house to the front door, which would frustrate would dig. So I just wonder about the sanity of the people who would go thru those snow tubes.

CT license plate: I-OBJET. Great. Probably a law student or an attorney.

A store I pass on the way home: Cuberto’s Field and Stream. They have a turkey calling seminar scheduled for today! Now that’s something we all need to attend.

The Spanish-American grocery store in Middletown has a neon sign: “We forgive…but we don’t forget.”

Driving behind a car with 3 bumper stickers. The first says “I love you”. The second says “My son goes to Northwestern”. Third one says “My money and my daughter go to URI.” To anyone who knows URI – he’s right.

Girl in a white car – bad driver – shade on the driver’s side window; she can’t see anything; had to lift the shade just to enter traffic. Now she’s weaving. Her license plate is ZOOMIN.

Radio ad asking if you were suffering from a dead battery, how many times has that made you feel powerless? Duh ... of course it’s powerless. And if you have a dead battery - you can't listen to the radio.

Have to check the moon phases. If I remember right, we’ve got a full moon, and it shows. Everybody is going into the passing lanes then sitting there going slower than the people in the regular lane; cutting people off; getting into the wrong lane; left hand turns out of right hand lanes; it’s been a ZOO.

Listening to Mike on WDRC this morning – what’s orange and sleeps 6? A DOT truck!

I’m getting near the end of rte. 66, and ever since Middletown there’s been this young fella in his 20s who seems really pissed that I edged him out of trying to pass me once. He’s tried passing on the right, passing on the left…really close to my car. He’s just not going to give an edge. It seems to be a little vendetta; every opportunity he gets he starts edging up to threaten me; when he knows he can’t, he drops back and drives like a sane person. In between, it’s like … hello ... put it back in your pants!

Ct license plate: “WITCHY”; a woman driving a SAAB. I love it!

It’s 6:21 in the evening the sky is a turquoise blue. The bridge between Middletown and Portland (over the CT River) is the same blue. It’s almost as if the bridge became part of the sky.

© 2014 Bonnie-Jean Rohner

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