Then I read this, and decided that I really couldn’t add anything intelligent.
That is about the only good thing I can say about my Thursday night. Leaving the Community College Town in what can charitably be described as whiteout conditions I made it all the way to the first major city before I slid into the guardrail. I managed to bang up the passenger side front quarter-panel and bang up the bumper. Oh well, it was slick and lousy out, and my Uncle owns a car fixing shop. If any one knows me they know I’m not huge on cosmetics so I can deal with a busted looking vehicle. When I passed through Major Western City I really managed to screw up my truck when I got into what I can only guess was black ice.
Just last week I had a discussion with a few friends of mine about how the human brain deals with stress. We we talking about gunfights, I’ve never been in one, but I have been in a couple of vehicle accidents. The phenomenon is called tachypsychia when everything seems to slow down. I experienced it when my truck started to slide out from under me, it seemed like I had gone from driving on a road to driving on a hockey rink.
I felt the rear begin to slide out to the left. I attempted to counter-steer and momentarily regained control. I immediately lost it again. I knew that there was no way I was going to get it back. I looked at the speedometer, 54 mph. I reached over the wheel with my left hand and turned on the emergency flasher. I then used my right hand to turn off the radio and the heater. ( I’m still not sure why I thought the heater would be important.) I checked the wheel one more time noticing that I was now moving pretty much perpendicular to my original direction of travel. Nothing I was going to be able to do about it now so I put my hands in my lap and took a deep zazen breath.
The impact was in damn near the same spot that I managed to hit earlier in the night. I rebounded off of the guardrail and noticed that I had broken the headlight as I recrossed the rumble bars as I went back across the road. The snow on the road had limited my vision to pretty well a cocoon of white. I felt the rear wheels hit the rumble bars on the other side of the interstate and I was hoping that the ditch wasn’t going to provide traction to the wheels or else I was going to roll. Thankfully, it didn’t. I felt the truck shut off as it smashed into the guardrail at the passenger-side taillights. I had come to a stop with all of the dash alarm lights lit and beeping. I turned the key and the truck fired up imediately. I limped it another mile down the road to a truck stop and called the cavalry.
I limped my busted truck about ten miles to a Motel 6. They left the light on for me. The cavalry came in the morning.
3550 Miles since the 19th of January. I still have a run to my hometown for the last of my stuff to complete this move to Community College Town. This is growing tiresome, and the prospect of spending the night in my truck tomorrow night isn’t promising.
I’m a week into a vocational program at a community college. I feel that I’m pretty far behind the learning curve. I have exactly enough experience with the tools and methods being employed to be in my own way. Clearly, I am unable to empty my cup fast enough to learn. I started meditating again. I’m starting tomorrow with a far less full cup.
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. R.W. Emerson