The ring of my cellphone exchanged itself for the voice of the receptionist at the company for which I work. “Your afternoon appointment just called and canceled. She thinks she might have the flu and will call to reschedule when she feels better.” Unfortunately, I was already within hailing distance of the location of my appointment. It is situated in a busy urban area that hosts two huge shopping malls on both sides of the main thoroughfare leading to the address. Traffic there is thick and threatening no matter the time of day. The parking lots of the malls add to the problem—they are mazes of sudden and twisting cut-throughs where moving cars show up unexpectedly. In short, to maneuver this area safely, you need eyes in the front, sides, and back of your head.
I had arrived in the neighborhood early in order to have lunch at Sonic, America’s Drive-in which sits within the boundaries of one of the mall’s parking lots. It was there that I received the call about the canceled appointment. Although its bill of fare falls just a hair’s breadth above the category of “fast food,” I like Sonic’s because it’s a throwback to the drive-in restaurants of my teenage years where carhops brought your food to you on a tray that was affixed to the door of your car. Inevitably while chomping away at my food, Sonic’s turns me wistful with memories of the good old days, and despite the menu, it’s always a happy experience for me.
I had received a new pair of glasses the day before—lineless trifocals, where the correction is limited to a small circular area in the center of each lens and in essence renders your peripheral vision a complete blur, and therefore, useless. In order to see peripherally, rather than moving your eyeballs and slightly shifting your head as usual, you have to turn your head completely to the right or left to keep the circular section in the your line of vision. Learning to see through lenses such as these takes the discipline and practice-routine of an Olympic athlete, and since I had worn them for fewer than 24 hours, I was still slave to my old habits.
The canceled appointment set me at liberty for the balance of the afternoon, and despite the freezing temperature outside, how best to kill a few minutes of it than to drive through the next-door Dairy Queen and to treat myself to a whopping big vanilla ice cream cone, I ask you? I was in the frame of mind of treating myself that mid-December day because the 31st of the month, when my New Year’s Resolution to make 2013 my year to slim down and shape up, was bearing down on me like an out of control locomotive.
I pulled out of the Dairy Queen, the top-heavy treat teetering dangerously in my right hand. Lick, lick, I went at it as if I were a prisoner on death row eating my last meal, and at my last mid-lick, I eased to a halt at the stop sign at the terminus of one of those treacherous little cut-throughs. I looked to the left, then to the right, and to the left again before pulling out and onto the busy street, and WHAM! the right front fender of my pristine car made hard contact with the back left fender of another car, a car moving far too swiftly for the conditions of the traffic. Nevertheless, I literally did not see it—not at all! For all I know, the driver might have failed to yield to me in an attempt to get ahead of me in line. Although my gut tells me that he did dish me, I just can’t say for sure.
Everything in the universe has its purpose, and there is a purpose for everything in the universe, and knowing this to be true, I set to wondering to what end this accident occurred, the first one I have encountered in all of the many decades of my driving history. It’s easy to say that the spectacles and the ice cream cone were the culprits (or maybe Speedy Gonzales in the other car), but at my core I recognize that they were mere props in the opening act of the spiritual play that was unfolding before me on that day. In the words of Dr. Deepak Chopra in his breakthrough work, The Book of Secrets, Unlock the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life, “This accident was no accident; it’s a reflection of myself. This stranger is a messenger. When I find out why this event happened, I will uncover some aspect of myself. I need to pay more attention to some kind of hidden or stuck energy. When I deal with it, I will be glad this accident happened.”
When I set my mind to analyzing it, the notion of hidden or stuck energy called to a knowingness at the deepest part of my soul. Although it was clear to me that the other driver had been chosen as my partner in this drama because he also had some energy that needed to get unstuck (possibly an issue surrounding patience), still I didn‘t want anything of the sort to happen again. Therefore, it behooved me to pay attention and to decipher the message written on the bent fender of my car.
The universe had been whispering in my ear for a long time about my future path, but I couldn’t single out its words above the non-stop ego-din in my head. My mind was like an out-of-control classroom of kindergarteners fighting over a position in line. “Teacher said I can be first!” “No, she said I can be first!” “No, it’s me!” “Me!” “Me!” and on and on until I couldn’t take it anymore and I just shut out the voices. But I was able to figure out that the fender-bender was my signal that my mind was ready to transcend the cacophony and to recognize the one voice that spoke my truth. After all, our minds want to transcend—minds abhor statis. In medicine, statis is a condition in which body fluids such as blood or the contents of the bowel are prevented from flowing normally through their channels. All of us understand what that portends in terms of the well-being of our bodies. Minds are subject to the same principle.
Dr. Chopra’s directive that “Insight and release go together,” is proving valid for me because now that my energy is unblocked, I’m beginning to wade through and hone down the competing options. Plans are taking shape in my mind. I’m like Michelangelo chipping away at the block of marble until the authentic and glorious David took the form of the picture in the master’s mind. I couldn’t accomplish that before. I couldn’t do it until I was able to see that the message on the bent fender of my car said, “Let go, be still, and let the universe do the driving.”
My latest novel, Guardians and Other Angels is available at http://www.amazon.com/Guardians-Other-Angels-Linda-Greene/dp/1897512562/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338336762&sr=8-1
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