Sunday, June 22, 2014

Driving Karma

Or: How learning to use a turn signal can save your afterlife.  (suggested by Lori)

If you see a vehicle barreling up behind you, sun roof open, music blaring, driver either gesturing emphatically or singing at the top of her lungs, that could be me.

It's true, I tend to drive like I own the road.

And it's also true that I don't own the road.

But neither does anyone else.  (Unless, of course, it's a private road.  Ha ha.)

Which is why there are rules for the road.  These rules are common courtesy.  Like driving on the right side of the road, stopping at red lights, pausing at stop signs, letting pedestrians cross when their light is white.  These rules help us drive in harmony, & when we all drive in harmony there is much less cursing, which makes for a much better afterlife.

Here are the rules I know and try to follow (or the guidelines I follow, and therefore think they are rules.):

  • Use your turn signal BEFORE you move.   Whether you are switching lanes or turning a corner, use your turn signal.  This is more than good manners; this prevents negative thought.  Because the turn signal isn't for you, dearie.  It's for the other people on the road who are driving at their preferred speed (or frustrated because they can't), dealing with all the minutiae of their lives, and are just as focused as you are on getting to a destination.  Since few of us drive with telepathic or precognitive senses on, we rely on your turn signal to let us know you're going to turn or pull over.   We can be prepared.  People won't have to slam on their brakes.  Or accidently run into you.   Causing an accident, bad karma.  Preventing one, GOOD.
  • Corallary - when you are turning, turn into the near lane. The only vehicles who should be turning wide are those with signs on them.  You turn into your lane, and I'll turn into my lane, and look at that!  Traffic goes much faster and we aren't cursing at each other.   Lack of curses, Good Karma.
  • When you are driving slower than the people behind you, move into the right lane.  Regardless of how fast you are going.  Regardless of the actual speed limit.  Regardless of the type of roadway.  If there are two or more lanes, slow traffic stays to the right.
  • Corallary - the person in the right lane has the right to go as slowly as they need.  The right lane is for right hand turns.  The right lane is for gawking.  The right lane is for pausing and possibly pulling over.  The left lane is for driving.
  • Co-Corallary - Yes there are times when one must turn left.   And even when one is slowing down to turn left.  This does not require you to drive in the left lane for 3 miles.  Drive in the right lane.  A block or two before your turn, use your turn signal.  Pull into the left lane.  Then, use your turn signal again.  Then turn.   Forethought & follow through.  Good Karma.
  • Green means go.  When you are driving, your attention is required the entire time you are behind the wheel.  So when you have stopped at a red light, this is not a commercial break.  Pay attention to the cycle of the other lights.  Be ready to drive when it is your turn.  Even if you are the third car in line.
  • Merging - it's like a zipper, or an expertly shuffled deck of cards.  Left, right, left, right, left, right.  One car then the other, smoothly moving along, adjust speed, slowing or speeding up a little.  I know, I know, I too have cursed the driver who zoomed up on the right side when everyone was pulled over to the left.  But this pulling over creates a bigger traffic jam.  If you halve that line into two shorter ones and merge at the narrowed point, you are blocking a lot less of the road.  And yes, it takes a lot of practice, daring to be a merger.  I'm still working on it myself.  Spreading out at stop lights is another way to prevent that long ugly line. This can be tricky, especially if everyone needs to get on the highway, or turn at the next street.  It might require merging.
  • Mistakes are fixable, lives are not.  If you miss the turn, you miss the turn.  It's better to go right around the block than to create a 2 car pileup.  Granted, often people will let you in if you use your turn signal and traffic is moving at the right speed.  But holding up traffic behind you because you suddenly need to turn left is rude.  (Rudeness is bad karma.)
  • Headlights are also there for the other drivers. How can I see you coming, & thus utilize the appropriate road rule, without your headlights on?

Cars are heavy machinery.   They are tools, even weapons, one needs a license to use.  There are multiple lanes for various speeds; there are lights, signals and signs so everyone knows what's going on.  Driving is a big huge dance of people in battering rams.  And if everyone does follow the basic rules of courteous driving, there would be less road rage, there would be fewer traffic jams, and few accidents.  And there would be a lot less cursing, and thus, much more good karma.

So please use your turn signal.  And save your afterlife.

Thank you.  And I hope you have a great day!


Monday, June 16, 2014

The Day After

And now it's the day after.

The event is over.
The planning and preparation have come to fruition.
It happened, or it didn't, with all its glory and confusion, sorrow and celebration.
And now it's the day after.

The waiting is finished.
The decisions are done.
The whirlwind of wondering has died.
The chosen outfit worked, or it didn't, and beauty and horror and uncomfortable glamour was felt.
And now it's the day after.

The words that were said.
The tears that were cried.
The thoughts that still hang as an echo.
Were they real?  Was it right?  Was it necessary and true?  It was so important then.
And now it's the day after.

It felt so immediate.
It seemed so powerful.
It loomed so large and important.
It was the dream.
It was the fear.
It was the goal.
It was the end.

And now it's the day after.