Sometimes in the midst of chaos I like to think about driveways.
Saturday night we returned from our brief stint out in the world (really my in-laws place where our scheduled outdoor manual labor was cancelled due to inclement weather…well, it started raining and I threw such a fit over getting wet, comparing myself to an elaborate if not dissolvable rice paper origami Trumpeter Swan, that my bound-only-by-law family shut down the operation out of pure revulsion – only at the cost of my dignity and the potential respect of my son) to find the downtown core of Seattle alight with the warm glowing embers of police and (befuddlingly, metro transit and utility) vehicles ablaze thanks to the angst of several hundred thieves likely just sick of all those storefronts mocking them every day what with their intact glass and luxury (albeit useless) goods behind them, masturbating arsonists because that’s what they do and don’t forget the psychologically disturbed, violence prone, middle and upper-middle class 23-year-old white males upset about economic challenges and voice-lessness; all of which had nothing to do with systemic racism, police brutality and murder.
It was quite the site. Uniquely disturbing. Worrisome. Confusing. In the short term, how do we ensure the true voiceless are heard? In the long term, how do we fix racism, economic disparity and viruses?
Since I couldn’t answer either question with sufficient detail, my psyche deferred to visualizing what the Dali Lama and the Global Yogi Association deem as the most calming meditation tool available, second only to ocean waves and batches of Labrador Retriever puppies. Driveways.
Not the crappy 11-foot driveways that basically go nowhere like at my house.
Long, elaborate, potentially undulating but not necessarily, well-maintained but not in an overly fancy way, cleanly framed with those little 1.5-foot high bright green bushes that aren’t evergreens but still stay green all year, white stucco-colored, concrete driveways. Typically basking in the sun (but not too hot please).
You know, the kind normal rich people have.
I do prefer the straight kind, approximately 115 feet in length with expansion joints (the little piece of wood or whatever just below the surface) every 11.5 feet, little tiny horizontal lines brushed on (slightly visible, slightly tactile), maybe a round or oblong turnabout thrown in somewhere just to keep things interesting.
Please don’t insert a car visual here. That just messes the vibe all up and makes one think of factories, chemical paint sprayers and tax returns.
A slight breeze, just warm enough to be warm, helps too.
I’m not crazy to the point that I think about driveways to deny reality or life’s unpleasant challenges, no matter how daunting. I am crazy enough to suggest that there’s stuff we overlook all around us that provides calm and hope and potential.
Maybe it’s just a question of looking for it.