“When Possible, Make a U-Turn”

I’ve read that even when we are lost, maybe turned around in direction, the place we are lost in needed our energy to pass through it. I am intrigued by this as it gives a validation to dithering. My Garmin unit has fallen heavily into like with Rt 75 here – Florida’s answer to 95 in Philly or 25 in New Mexico. I have it programmed for the fastest way & although I can see where I want to go across the “freeway”, the Garmin insists on getting onto that & going one exit north or three south in order to double back. This is how it achieves the “fastest” way – must go hammer down to match the traffic to exit a mile away when my landing was across the street.

The next direction it has bonded most sincerely with titles this blog. Now I’m the queen of u-turns. How many times I’ve been on the inside lane watching my exit sign off to the right whip by…well, let’s just agree I don’t want to say. But I don’t get excited about that anymore.

In thinking this over I find I must make a “you-turn”. Now, doesn’t that sound a bit better? I look again to see if inward shapes up with outward. I breathe away the annoyance or feeling of being stupid when I do. I understand there was some reason, perhaps unfathomable in the moment, but some causative that set me [literally] off from a target.

Now I get that when this happens, when Garmin says, “in one mile, be in the right lane to take 75 South” I can bypass that, pull off onto another street & cancel the route. When I reprogram, I am readily guided more gently on the surface streets as the unit ‘repents’ (rethinks) best route. It helps if I don’t steam up or get into a lather about it. It’s as though I’m on a retractable leash & just reached the end of it where it gets interesting when “click!” the brake device locks me down. By the neck.

English is full of words beginning with ‘re’. It always means some kind of do-over. I have often walked right through the safe space, climbing out of the bomb shelter as the planes drone over, carefully edging over or under the barrier of go no farther in peril of continuing. Limitations are temporary. I will get there from here.

I can be my own hero. It’s all that is left for me to do. I have been my own example & it sure is easier without the drama of agonizing each instant of it, but keeping an eye on where I want to be & knowing no matter how fast I travel past it, I can return. Accepting that English itself is the Trickster here, I move along steadily; we go hand in hand. It’s quieter without the quibbling.

If I can do it with a laugh, I’m in the overcoming lane. If I can do it with grace, I’ve benefited the territory by not leaving a trail of frustrated syllables behind, like a smelly bus.

I can read up all I want about how it works. I can preach it from on high (or on nigh) but the sure knowledge my goal is attainable as it is for my good, is astounding.

Soon I will no longer need the directions to be recited from the tiny screen replicating the exact place I am… how many times must I get there before the sure understanding that I can broadcasts a sunrise, illuminating all? Quite a few, it seems. I say to that, “Let’s go!”

Now, as I sort through endings, I keep finding beginnings I’ve set aside among these. They are shiny, eye-catching, attention-getting. And achievable!

When possible, live your best life!

Rooms

My upstairs large bedroom has been in turn, a massage treatment room, a bedroom, a reading room/den. The smaller back room has been all three as well. That front room served until my neighbor with a penchant for war movies mounted his TV on the party wall to play all day.

I was thinking I occupied my body in the same way: when younger, I lived in different regions from those I live in now. Now I recognize the only place I should dwell is my heart, that secret interior where Spirit resides. I think I have finally arrived.

Wow! This needs a good cleaning! I scrub with sponges dipped in Belief. I scrape at stains revealing cracks where Selfishness settled in, thinking itself safe. I pour Hope into Light to get bubbling Joy. I pile the muddy rags with all else going into the fire of renewal.

Putting on music, I dig out drop cloths, paint, rollers, brushes. I set to work plastering the cracks with Assurance & Grace, driving new nails of Plain Truth, mounting tapestries displaying fresh ideas to ripple on the fresh walls. I add a soft rug in a Tree of Life design. I place salt-glow lamps, sturdy chairs, comfy pillows & retreat to the doorway to look it over.

An acquaintance once described fiercely cleaning his just bought row house. He said at midnight he heard murmurs in the backyard & came downstairs to the door to find the gentle ghosts who’d resided there before. They stared at him, finally whispering, “We have no place else to go.” He let them back in.

I must be careful now. Do I let the old back in? Do I allow it to reclaim the space? Do I set kibble for the feral thoughts slinking by my ankles in a cold rush? Let these settle in the new cushions?

Oh, I will keep after my refurbished heart. I will set alarms & tripwires to foist attempted entries. I know for certain my strengths yet feel also there is elasticity there to firm up.

If I allow entry to my old ghosts I must insist they leave at dawn.

Tintinnabulation

I was reading a book recently which took place in medieval England. The character lived near a church & it seemed the bells were always chiming.

I thought for a few moments how many bells I’ve lived by. I thought for a longer time how it must have been for those people living under a tyranny of bells – there were many reasons to despise religious factions. Bells ringing at all hours 24/7.

The sounds of bells carry on down alleys, on cobblestones, around right-angled corners, over the fantasias of rooftops. Imagine:

You owe me five farthings say the bells of St. Martin’s

Or a bit farther along,

Oranges and lemons say the bells of St. Clement’s

Head sharp north for

Bullseyes & targets say the bells of St. Margaret’s

Everywhere you walked, a GPS network of church bells oriented you, served up the time of day, remanded you to prayer & endless alms.

And there is much to be made of bells, of chimes, of the attention they bring to the mind: the quickening clarity as they ring. My attention would be easily mislaid in a ringing city!

Yet didn’t I spend my childhood under the tyranny of the “Bells of St. Ann’s”, my elementary school in Wildwood? Indeed! The bells rang us into transition, one classroom for another; one personality for another, one normality for another. My nuns were brilliant & quirky from here (60 years into a future where they no longer are) but back then they were simply terrifying. They say stress learning sticks with you.

Look up the bells of Old London sometime.