When I’m driving in London towards downtown, there’s a spot where the speed limit drops from 60 kilometres per hour to 50. It’s two lanes in each direction. I stay in the right lane, doing 50 or a bit more. In my better moments, I feel the world and my place in it.
Usually traffic bunches up behind me and there’s a steady flow of cars zooming past in the left lane. Their speed is around 70 kph. Vehicles behind me look for an opportunity to jerk left. The car directly to my rear is probably right on my bumper.
I feel the pull of the 70 and the urge to fit in. It’s a powerful force. Be like them. Don’t have them honk at me. Be invisible. So seductive. But there’s another pull that’s far sweeter. Be thoroughly myself. Feel Scarlet move at 50. Fell the rhythm that doesn’t seem available at a far faster speed. Feel a sense of uniqueness. Feel myself flowing with life, in sync, carried by a force that I can’t name.
And then there’s the rest of my day – away from roads and traffic. Can I feel into the rhythms that support me in conversation, in eating, walking and volunteering at school? Or do I let myself be pushed into someone else’s version of reality?
I choose to avoid toxic talk and the sense of being rushed. I choose to linger with my fellow man and woman, to give the truth of the other person time to emerge. My eyes can settle on other eyes rather than swerving from target to target. My reality isn’t all crammed together. I feel space around me. I move with grace.
The pull of the left lane has largely faded away. I’m happy.