Life as we drive through it is mostly “curves and round-abouts, with the odd straightaway,” as my British friends would say. Generally, the idea behind driving in England is to proceed obediently in an orderly fashion. Now, contrariwise, the French and the Spanish and especially the Italians are propelled with an added reckless tiger in their tank –“passione!” They collectively prowl and growl at the red lights in a kind of hyper-caffeinated surging. Many jump the light and race madly to the next red where they again sit and endlessly agitate. Here in the US, we’re driven through life fueled by a mix of the same compulsions, but with an added octane ingredient – ASAP “Always Suceed at Any Price.”
For me, being Canadian born, and having somewhat lived in the aforementioned cultures, life has often been met with a similar confused and fearful posturing, only with a twist:“ Why?” I’d sit at those red lights and wonder “why all the hurry to get somewhere?” That’s not to say I didn’t get as propelled as anyone else, but to recognize that somewhere behind the sense of me sitting at the wheel, was a significant and lingering doubt about this human race. Oh, I had the shiny, high powered Beamers and Benz’s, so to speak, but I could never quite get them into the right gear. So when the pack lunged away, I was often left sitting there, groping frantically to engage but also wondering “why?”
It’s not so much that I didn’t “buy in” to most of the dreams that drive us – I definitely did! – so much as I didn’t quite “sell out”.
Something was always held in check. Somehow the asking price always seemed too high. Well, almost always! When I did pay the price of admission, I always, eventually, got my ass kicked, ran out of gas and brooded “long and long” as Walt Whitman would say, in the pit stops that fortunately occur in our everyday struggle to survive and thrive.
In retrospect, I’m glad I dropped out of the running. Somehow, I came to the end of all the roads in my material and spiritual journeys, ran out of ASAP gas, and just stopped. The Race was not only run, but over. I came to rest in being. An unmoved spaciousness. A being that is not driven and not driving, but is freely going along for the ride!
In this aware ride of your life, you never leave home. You’re always in play, very vulnerable and off-balance and sometimes a little dizzied by a sense of always arriving yet never leaving! And life constantly teaches you that the only way to flow with the traffic and stay home is to leave your hands off the wheel of the body/mind and rest in your natural well-being.
The Asking Price is really, truly, letting go of all the illusions of being the driver. Then life becomes your chauffeur!