It was a very foggy weekend. And I don’t mean that metaphorically. I was feeling pretty lucid myself. But the fog was thick and the air unseasonably warm, the snow melting steadily into small mounds of dirty ice.
Sunday night, driving home on my dirt road, the potholes so recently smoothed over by some workers already re-emerging, second gear up the hills, then first gear, slowing to a mere five miles per hour, I put on my brights in a reflexive attempt to increase my visibility.
It didn’t. The high beams made the fog seem even denser and more persistent. When I switched them off again, I recalled these words from E.L. Doctorow:
“Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
I’m no novelist. But I am alive, and I suspect the practice of channeling other people’s lives and living one’s own have this much in common: you cannot overpower the fog.
Downshift in the dark, surrender to external conditions as they arise and change, watch for surprises, and try not to hit anything. Blasting your high beams will not help you see better or further; it will only accentuate the fog. Either way, you’ll get home.
And the fog lifts by itself, as it did on Monday, when the sun came out and beckoned me to sit at an outdoor table at Amherst Coffee with my journal. Suddenly clear skies, the muted world shot back to sharp edges.
I thought about all of this for a few days, so much so that when I saw this post, I felt as if its author had been peering into my thoughts with a flashlight. So I asked her. And you know what she said?
“I am looking into your mind. And you are looking into my mind. We are each, always, looking into Buddha mind.”
You can make the whole trip that way.