Dogs at the Table

...or to put it another way, "Perish, priest!"

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Stay calm, be brave, wait for the signs

These words to live by were the sign-off line from the rather imaginative CBC Radio comedy spot called, "The Dead Dog Cafe." 

On our road trip, we also live by the phrase, "the signs don't lie."

We navigate without a GPS.  We usually check GoogleMaps or MapQuest for specific directions which we sometimes write down, but more often than not, we'll see the sign.  In the middle of sixteen lanes of metropolitan rush-hour traffic, I'm not sure I need the mechanical annoying voice of the GPS to tell me to move-to-the-right-hand-lane-move-to-the-right-hand-lane-move-to-the-TURN AROUND-TURN AROUND.

But in most  cases the signs are clearly posted above the driving lanes or along the side of the road.

The written instructions to find Progressive Field in Cleveland last night were a bit obscure, with several turns within a few hundred meters, according the directions.  But the signs were clear -- and more direct than the instructions had been.  The baseball game (Twins beat the Indians 6-5 in 12 innings) was cold and, frankly, dull (the 'Tribe' were excoriated in the morning press for badly managing and executing), but not without its moments.

It's a metaphor for life.  The signs don't lie; life can be cold and dull, but not without it's moments.

And at this point we need to go back to the Dead Dog Cafe, because it is far easier to engage with life when we are calm, brave and patient.

And that's why road trips are important.  The only way to enjoy it is to be calm -- getting agitated on a road trip is (as my doctor would say) contra-indicated.  And you also have to be prepared to travel new roads -- we can now drive four or five hundred kilometers before we see things that are new to us, and boredom erodes satisfaction, at least in my experience (that's why we've been known to do the first part of a long drive in the dark, so it doesn't matter what's out the window).

And the signs don't lie.  We've learned to trust them.  Yes, we've gone places we haven't expected to see, but mostly because we missed the signs.  Sometimes I'm so involved in driving that I can't look around, and need someone else to be aware on my behalf.

I am not particularly metaphysical or pious, but there are times that others have clearly pointed to the presence of God in my life.   I get so involved in 'driving from day to day' that I miss the signs.

And so a road trip, from my side of the steering wheel, is a good way to reconnect.

Today's weigh-in: Unknown Waiting for a sign (or at least a scale).


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