Sunday, July 31, 2011

By Time or By Tank

I got in the car today & headed for the rural nether regions, as is my custom. I learned the art of wandering long ago from my grandfather. We would go on weekend jaunts, often riding in a silence that nourished us both. As I recall, he never had a specific destination in mind (though we usually happened past my favorite ice cream stand). After an hour or two, he would simply turn around & make his way back home by a different route. I loved watching the fields & farmland race by. Each time the scent of cattle filled the air, my grandfather would proclaim "Ah! Perfume!". It would always make me scrunch up my face & laugh. Whenever I wander by a swatch of odoriferous farmland, I have fond memories of my grandfather. Because we experienced the stink together, my perspective was forever changed.

I can't help but compare these thoughts to the occasional stink of life. If we can somehow experience the stink with someone else (someone we love, someone who "gets" us), perhaps in those times when we're alone, we'll be able to experience the pungency of hardship in light of the connection we have to that person instead. I no longer think of the stink. I think of my grandfather navigating the countryside, by time or by tank...

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