Friday, June 15, 2012

Commuting

I drive 21 miles to work Monday through Friday, which means a 45 minute trip through the city (if I'm lucky). I'm usually on auto pilot, focused on staying ahead of tailgaters & stopped traffic. I barely remember much about the journey from day to day.
Today however, as I was drawing near to a stoplight, a great blue heron flew overhead. It was so close that I could see the feathers of it's underbelly rippling as the wind rushed over them. Time seemed to stop for a moment. My heart swelled.
To the left was the river, sparkling beneath the afternoon sun. I could see people milling about on the docks in the distance. Too bad I wasn't one of them! It was a perfect day to be out on the water.
To my right a couple cars back was some guy gunning to be first in line. I kept my cool & watched for the cop that usually perches nearby. Nothing. Speed racer nearly clipped me & the guy in the other lane as he pulled out ahead. I didn't feel very charitable in the moment, nor did I see the need to show it. I turned on some music (the same CD I'd been listening to for the past week) in an effort to drown out my thoughts.
I continued without incident over the bridge & all through downtown. It was nothing but a blur of lights & cyclists & other slow moving vehicles as we navigated beneath the shadows of office buildings & railway overpasses. We shared common roads, but remained separated by lines on the pavement. Little painted lines were all that hemmed us in.
As I wound my way out to the industrial area, the land opened up. I could see Mt. Hood & Mt. St. Helens standing guard & colours seemed to explode with the passion of a Painter: fresh bold strokes of oil on canvas. The grass was the most vivid green you could imagine & the flowers which bordered the roadside were absolutely indescribable in the breezy sunlight. I however, felt like a dry, grey  mote of dust... a vestige of something else completely, detached & carried along against my will. I didn't feel much like a part of this masterpiece today, nor do I any other day. But as the weekend approaches, I aim to cling & sink into the paint... no longer hemmed in like a prisoner or kept out like a trespasser... at least for a little while.

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