Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2016 >Daily Dispatch #39

February 9, 2016: Smoke, Fog, Haze

The following dispatch was based on a prompt provided by Jen Bartholomew, who is one of my two internal martial arts teachers. She, her husband Jay, and I had a lengthy discussion about breathing and its relation to structure and posture. At the near conclusion of our talk, Jen suggested we respond to the prompt “Smoke, Fog, and Haze – Not Being able to see Ahead of You.” I wrote the following:

Smoke, fog, and haze Where to begin? What comes to mind is a recent event. I was heading to town in the early evening, fearful because my vision is poor in the dark. Actually, smoke, fog, and haze isn’t a problem. The problem is that I cannot see when I have to deal with the glare of

Driving the AlCan

the oncoming headlights.

I get annoyed when the oncoming cars pass. Once they are past, I’m okay. More cars appear. The cycle repeats itself. Makes driving a very unpleasant activity. Have come to be very apprehensive about driving at night, have in fact begun to fret about this earlier in the day, which is if I have to go anywhere later on.

Is there an analogy to be made here? I think so. I am in general a very apprehensive individual. I fear what’s ahead as well as what’s behind me. I often think that I could be rear ended. What I most fear are the flashing lights of a police car and all that goes with it.

This recently happened to me. It was around 6 p.m., and I was coming home from the Saddle Up Arena, which is located on the far side of Palmer. It was dark. I was driving slowly. There were a lot of cars passing me, which caused me to drive even more slowly. Sure enough, I saw flashing lights in my rear view mirror minutes after turning onto the Glenn Highway. I leaned over the steering wheel and looked straight ahead, hoping that the police car would pass. It did not. I slowly pulled over to the side of the road. I rolled down my window. The police officer appeared and peered in my window. A conversation followed, one in which he ascertained that I was not drunk, just driving in a reckless fashion.

He let me go with just a warning. I drove home, slowly. The effect that this had on me was that I am now even more fearful about driving at night. All I can now think is that it’s very good that the light is returning. I know that I need to learn to better deal with such things – change my breathing, change my posture. Structure changes tension patterns. This is what my internal martial arts teachers have taught me, and I believe it. I understand, intellectually, and now, limitedly, in other ways.

I fear that my teachers will in time throw up their hands and then give up on me because I am so slow, physically, to grasp what they are attempting to teach me. Smoke, fog haze, I am surrounded by it.

I am slow to change. But change is happening. I am slowly becoming more confident, and this can be seen as I take to the driver’s seat on dark evenings.

Embrace change and then let it go. Easy to say, hard to do.

Next: 40. 2/10/16: More Money for Horseshows

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