Last night, Chad I and curled up on the couch to decompress before bedtime and watched an episode of The Planet Green/National Parks. The broadcast featured the Hawaiian volcanoes, Utah’s Arches National Park, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and Zion National Park, to name a few. As we watched, I felt an exquisite, almost indescribable feeling of pleasure that occurs only when I see the breathtaking views of clean water, trees, mountains, lava flows, canyons, animals, birds, flowers, and nature unblemished by man. Seeing the newest forms of land created by Pacific Rim volcanoes juxtaposed against canyons carved over millions of years and geysers atop a tentative landscape is almost too much to comprehend. I have visited a few of those parks, and as I shared with Chad, “I have been there and I have seen that”, he inquired, “did it look like that?” I responded, “yes”, as his little mind has yet to comprehend that it has taken hundreds of thousands perhaps even millions of years to create the architectural design of those landscapes and will take many, many more to evolve into something unfamiliar (albeit volcanic eruptions which can change things overnight, and fallen rock arches and God forbid, a catastrophe caused by humans.) I became immediately pre-occupied and impatient with thoughts of the outdoors—a place I want to be, watching and feeling nature unfold and these images served as the best sedative I’ve ever taken.
Monday, February 6, 2012
For years, I have referred to my car as my “Think Tank”. It is a location where I can process my thoughts with little interruption. I can roll down the windows, feel the wind, open up the sunroof and be touched by the sun, turn up the radio and sing out loud or turn it off and sit in the quiet, navigating through the pathways of my mind and the roadways all at the same time (and yes, I will admit…at times I’m not sure I remember how I get to where I’m headed; It just happens.) It is often where I have done my best “work” (solving problems, creating strategies, conversing, reflecting, processing information) and it is, by far, the place where life changing experiences and epiphanies have occurred. (No, I did not lose my virginity in a car nor did I give birth in a car. I’m claustrophobic, remember?) Example: most of us know where we were the day of 9/11. I do. I was in my Think Tank, crossing the Kennedy Bridge. The image is seared in my mind, like a photograph.
But let’s get back to the Kennedy.
With 23 days and counting, “Shermageddon” will hopefully come to an end--not that I’m holding my breath or anything, although perhaps I should be (and plugging my nose, rolling down my electric windows, and inflating a life-jacket) considering the damage, wear, and tear I have observed over the past 151 days driving across the only other arterial bridge stretching across the Ohio River, i.e., the I-65, Kennedy Bridge. Wow! That was a long sentence! (Note to self: I hope I can hold my breath that long when the Kennedy Bridge collapses and I find myself fighting the currents of the muddy Ohio reminding myself, “no you are not in a James Bond movie. This car will not float, nor will it transform into a submarine”.
OMG, I said (in my last blog) I wasn’t going to dwell on the “what if’s”. Oh, how I digress…
I’m prepared for the announcement that the JFK Bridge itself will be closed soon, in order to mend its sores, wounds and fractures caused from—what is it?—some additional 80,000 vehicles crossing it each day? Maybe I am exaggerating, but it sure seems like 80,000 cars and trucks trying to cross at the same time during the morning and afternoon commutes. At the point of the Kennedy shut down we will all be forced to test the skill and work of engineers, metallurgists, and welders on the Sherman Minton. After briefly debating in my mind (at which point the” half-empty” cup-sized, Jungian portion of my brain that fears drowning will certainly win), my choice will be to snake down the back roads of New Albany and Clarksville to the 2nd Street Bridge, built during the era of what my father refers to as “when things were built to last”. God forbid it blows up during the next “Thunder over Louisville”, then I will really be SOL, and no, I don’t mean “sunshine”. If that happens I hope the Lord Jesus himself sweeps me up onto his beautiful white Arabian stead and miraculously walks that horse across the river without getting my hair wet.
I mean, after all, anything ending in “geddon” has something to do with Jesus, right?