Feb 14, 2019

Traffic defector

Found myself in a strange spot yesterday afternoon – under the SF pylons of the Bay Bridge, inching forward a car-length every couple of minutes. The early afternoon grid of cars trying for the Bridge.

It's the waiting time for me, these days, so I wasn't too perturbed by the traffic. It was actually pretty interesting to observe my mind in such a place.

(What would it be like, I wonder, to never be in the waiting time? To always be moving from once thing to the next, a constant stream of activity, motion, noise? A finely crafted hell, I'm tempted to label such.)

I roll my Civic forward another car-length.

Some people do this every day.

A car zooms past all of us, cutting down the opposite lane then trying to wedge back into our line as an oncoming car turns onto the street.

Defector. The enemy. He must be destroyed, disciplined, held to account.

A fantasy: getting out of my Civic (perhaps parking first), walking through the grey rain up to the defector's vehicle, rapping on the windshield. "Who are you? What do you think you're doing? Idiot." (It's the waiting time, after all. I don't have any place to be.)

This, of course, is a bad idea. Interesting to watch it arise & ricochet through my mind, justifying itself, laying out a plan, kindling excitement.

Punishing that defector would have felt so good!

(Silly primate brain.)

A parable, from somewhere (a):

“Monk!” barked the samurai, in a voice accustomed to instant obedience.

“Teach me about heaven and hell!”

The monk looked up at the mighty warrior and replied with utter disdain,

“Teach you about heaven and hell? I couldn’t teach you about anything. You’re dumb. You’re dirty. You’re a disgrace, an embarrassment to the samurai class. Get out of my sight. I can’t stand you.”

The samurai got furious. He shook, red in the face, speechless with rage. He pulled out his sword, and prepared to slay the monk.

Looking straight into the samurai’s eyes, the monk said softly,

“That’s hell.”

The samurai froze, realizing the compassion of the monk who had risked his life to show him hell! He put down his sword and fell to his knees, filled with gratitude.

The monk said softly,

“And that’s heaven.”