“MIST”, 30″ x 50″, 1995, m/m

I am unsure of myself as I write this but it is there so here it is:

Yesterday as I rolled around my neighborhood in my power chair taking my dog for a walk I had an experience that moved me on a number of levels.

I live on a dirt road.

It feels pretty rural with more nature than people.

It is a bendy road so I can’t really tell what is too far ahead or behind us.

All of a sudden from nowhere there appears a silver Hummer car going way too fast coming from behind.

I had time to pull over as far as I could to be safe but they were going so fast that pebbles and dust spewed out behind them and showered us both.

As the dust settled I sat there motionless.

For a long time.

First, I couldn’t see from the cloud he left.

And second, because was just stunned.

My insides were all a-tumble.

I was mad. Sad. Scared. Incensed. Dirty. Revengeful.

But, weirdly, I was interested too.

My tendency is to lean into life of all sorts and get the gold.

And this experience was no different.

It made me feel deeply and know that I have lived a life of privilege.

More than likely, it has been me (figuratively speaking) in that Hummer flying along with so much unconsciousness that I didn’t see the immigrant girl frightened because she can’t read English yet or the teenager who just lost his best friend to a gang fight.

Privilege brings a good and protected life with it but it also tends to numb one to the realities of those who will never know that soft cocoon.

It often takes an experience like I had of being left helplessly in the dust to remind one that there are other realities present and existing right beside us that we often are too busy, numb, uninterested, unwilling, unprepared for, bored with to notice.

And we can’t feel them until we ARE IN IT OURSELVES.

Anyway, I came home after that experience with much more of a recognition of the edges in my life which privilege has smoothed and blunted.

It was good to be reminded of the fact that being left in the dust was an experience so outside my usual reality that I am here writing about it like I am,

When most of the population lives intimately with that grit between their teeth and the air never quite clears for them.


3 Responses to “Dust”

  1. Judy on September 8th, 2010

    No need to be unsure of what you wrote. It was beautiful.

  2. Laura Hegfield on September 8th, 2010

    Wow Cathy. What a powerful awakening for you. I want to share a blessing that I just sent to two friends with MS who happen to go to my synagogue…one was diagnosed 5 years ago…two of us just a year. So this was intended as a New Year blessing, but I think it applies to all of us who live with MS or any one who is struggling (that would be everyone really) just take out the words “in our neurons”
    May we open to deeper understandings of what healing can mean for us. May we awaken each day to discover small blessings and may we continue to choose gratitude for all the goodness that flows through our lives despite the disruptions in our neurons that don’t always flow according to plan.

  3. Muff on September 8th, 2010

    So beautiful, Cathy. A real eye-opener for me, who probably did the same as you in a past life. Thanks for sharing.

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