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Mists of Misperception

February 17, 2012

I walked out my front door this morning and was confronted by the exotic and mysterious; a world where routine had been replaced by the shimmer of possibility and where everyday ordinary objects had been transformed into etheric shadow-selves; appearing and disappearing as if they were no more substantial than a mist.

Actually it was the mist that was the problem.  But it’s amazing the tricks that a thick, low-lying fog can play in your brain; the way it disconnects you from your normal perception of the world around you and instead presents you with the possibility of a world that may – or may not – be what you think it is.

In this world, my daughter took a dozen steps away from the front door and disappeared into a floating sea of possibility, becoming nothing more than a disembodied voice: “Mom, I just walked into the hedge.”

Okay, so that brought me around in quick order.  I grabbed my keys, found my car (and my daughter) and proceeded to drive her up to the bus stop, but even that was an adventure, for the headlights only cast enough light to see clearly a few feet ahead.

Driving like this you can’t be thinking about anything else.  You can’t be worried about what exactly it is that you just passed.  You can’t be distracted by the bear standing on the side of the road (Bear – what?!?  Oh, that’s right, that must be the neighbor’s new brick mailbox) and you can’t be worrying about what might be coming up on the road in the future.

Now is all that matters.  Now is all that IS.  You can only deal with what is put in your path at this precise moment in time.

I’ll give you a hint though; it helps if you drive slowly.  Trying to drive at your normal speed in the fog is just asking for trouble, especially if someone or something steps out in front of you; you’ll end up with a deer or a person (or the bear that turns out to be real after all) splattered across your radiator grill.  And no matter how much you’d like to be able to blame them it will be your fault for not driving at a speed that allows your brain to process what is resolving in front of you before you hit it.

Very much like life, wouldn’t you say?

We spend so much time worrying about the impact of things we’ve already done; fretting about what could be coming up in the future and how we’ll possibly manage to deal with it that we don’t bother to pay attention to what is directly in front of us.  We miss the moment.  And sometimes not paying attention comes with a price; the knowledge that yet again we’ve messed something up by barreling full-speed ahead instead of taking time to come to grips with the situation that was resolving around us but which we were too preoccupied to notice until it’s too late.

If we would just take the time to let our hearts and minds catch up to our actions it wouldn’t be a problem.  We might not get where we think we are going as fast as we’d like.  In fact, if we listen to our hearts we might not even end up at the place that we thought we were headed for.  But we’ll have ended up where we are supposed to be, and at the time that we are supposed to be there, and with no outstanding claims against our karmic driver’s insurance for reckless driving.

 

 

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