Capital Beltway Before 6 A.M.? Can You Say “Noir”?

Saturday morning….time to rummage through the box’o weeks worth of “wtf’s” and “hurrays” and etched on grimaces of “damn!” and “cool!” cuz ya know, it’s TToT time. I guess you could say it’s tea time :D…

…been many an hour since I hit the Beltway on my morning commute. In the dark. Before 6:00 a.m.  I refer to driving the Washington DC Capital Beltway at that hour as “cowboy” driving. Why? Excluding the 2 express lanes to the left (if you’re not in ’em, they don’t count), you’ve got a solid 4 lanes (don’t count the oncoming/outgoing lanes unless one or more cars in those lanes appear to be driving into you) of traffic.

When traffic is “light” (rush hour in a smaller city) and vehicles of a number that allows for “free range” driving (driving at speed and above!) pretty much all bets are off. Speed is a factor… for everyone. I admit to hitting speeds 15 miles (or so) over the speed limit. (btw, I don’t want to confuse anyone with “video game” driving which only occurs during evening commuting hours.) This morning was no exception. Who needs caffeine when you’re “cowboy” driving?

I walked out of the morning routine and the front door into the crisp embrace of dry, 30 something degree air. Lifting my head I looked up, around and marvelled at the brightly starred sky cradling the night’s crescent moon. Tilted ever so slightly, it appeared to recede reluctantly, not wanting to give in to the earth’s rotation.

With a double click, car doors were open, bags and body in.. I took my place behind the wheel and strapped myself in with not a clue as to what would transpire in the next 30 minutes.

I don’t know if it was the speed at which I was driving combined with the headlights of oncoming traffic on the other side of the highway or the glare of headlights behind me…but there came a weird, odd moment when I realized, felt myself, traveling in another place and time. Did time just suspend itself?

Metal box on wheels and me? One and the same. Glancing in the rearview, I left Tyson’s Corner, billboard bright office buildings consuming the skyline with it’s rush of human traffic, it’s busy, busy let me on, let me off, ramps…behind. In pre-dawn silence the bright, whitewashed lane markers splashed onto new blacktop rushing by so fast my eyes were transfixed. And it was so-o-o quiet (yes, even with the radio on). It was the quiet of pre-dawn…

I swear I might have been driving with David Lynch riding shotgun. He’s the first one that came to mind…can’t quite find the words to express the total “noir” of the moment, of that morning 🙂 But I was convinced, I knew, my body knew, what it was these guys of the “noir” genre of filmmaking were all about. Cool.

Now how’s about those thankfuls….

1) New Quentin Tarantino movie out Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve! The Hateful Eight. Samuel L. as a cowboy! Yeegads! Can’t wait!! 😀

2) New Coen Brothers movie out February 3, 2016!! “Nuff said.

3) A reliable car in which to enjoy any and all types of driving no matter where (or when) I am!

4) The generosity of friends and family!

5) The weather. Again, it appears, with the exception of this weekend, that atypical warm will be with us for the upcoming holiday!

6) Reminders….of cirmcumstance. How it boils down to one’s perspective!

7) the Wakefield Doctrine (#6 was totally an unintentional segue into this one, I swear!)

8) Music!

9) An invitation to go to Christmas Eve mass (that totally came out of left field!)

10) Today! My only day.

Sticks and stones may break my bones….

So may getting out of bed. Upon which I had this thought: there is no tomorrow until tomorrow. Makes facing today rather simple doesn’t it? No, no it doesn’t have to be pressure filled and difficult. All it requires is a choice. A choice of how you spend the day. It’s not about the what, it’s about the how.

As a clark, I’m always reminding myself of this. Why? Because I’m one of the many clarks whose lives didn’t quite turn out like I thought it would/wanted it to/dreamed of. No, I do not mean to imply this is the purview of clarks only. Simply, that there are more clarks in the world having this thought right now than scotts or rogers.

What does that mean? It means being on the cusp of the life dreamed and then….ya didn’t close the deal. There are always circumstances surrounding the events in our lives but the key factor to remember in all circumstances: there is/are choice(s).

Yes people, this is one of those posts. What of it, huh? Can’t help myself. (no, that”s not true either!) Of course I can. What this is all about I suppose is finding a message for others. A message for those younger people who still believe they have time. Still have an opportunity to “go for the gold”.

I’ve had the opportunity recently of observing a young person struggle with the decision to leave her present place of employment for another job. To be witness in a casual observer kind of way, the process of her decision. The unknown is a frightening thing. More frightening the younger you are. The one constant, the one commonality is the choice to face that fear head on. The choice to embrace the unknown for the possibility of better.

The unfamiliar, the unknown represents different things to different people. Which is to say it means something different for a clark, scott or roger. The “unknown” for a clark represents challenge and the possibility of anything. scotts are alright with the unknown because they rely on their base instincts to carry them through.  rogers have the most difficulty with the (concept of) unknown. For all the obvious reasons. (go read the Wakefield Doctrine ‘cuz today is not about them, it’s about me! LOL) 

It’s true. I’m struggling with the stupid writer’s block. When all else fails, go to the self -help drawer. Which is to say myself. Look to myself for ways to help someone else: avoid the pitfalls, the too long way around, the bad way, the silly way, the fearful way, of navigating life.

You know, today is Sunday. The second day of the weekend. It is also the last day to participate in the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop. A hop created by Lizzi and hosted by the following: Christine, Sarah. Kristi, Michelle, Dyanne, Sandy, Zoe, Kristi, affectionately known as K2, Clark

Lizzi and everyone who participates is doing what I hope to do. Which is to share not only in the struggle that is daily life but in the joys of daily life. To share the finding of those joys in spite of and amidst the challenge of individual circumstance.

It is quite apparent when navigating the many blogs of those writers who choose to participate, that no one is exempt from life’s challenges. They represent a community that holds enormous strength, encouragement, warmth and genuine concern.

I hope in some small way this post qualifies for a Ten Things of Thankful entry.

Mr. Jackson. If you please….

I’ve only written one piece whose voice was totally in “slam”. It was easily 4 or 5 years ago but I remember that as I was writing, and for sure when I was finished, I could hear with my mind ears that distinctive, I will not be ignored, “cadence”.

In fact, I could not read the words straight. As if by poetic possession, my inner voice would only perform this piece as apparently it was intended. Some sort of badass bard voice…slam.  That’s my word for it. I don’t know what it is really. Dub poetry? Close? Not quite.

In a milisecond of that moment, my body knew. I felt it. Just felt it. Poe-slammetry. Know what I mean? In my head, the voice was perfect. In my head, the inflection was perfect. Yet not translateable. Outloud. I was hearing my piece perfectly, internally. In my cranium only, was this cerebellic surrealty. Of performance art.

Where did it come from? This stylistic hijacking. I hadn’t listened to the Last Poets in years. Hadn’t tuned into anything that would have planted a seed of insurrection or feelings of “political” oppression lol. So why this intense, insistent, very specific expression of my words. Where did this come from? This spoken word.

I have not written anything like it since. Not a single group of words since has insisted on being voiced so specifically.  There was no playing with them for effect. No arbitrary interpretation. One way, the only way, would give them life.  It was through deliberate, emotionally urgent, intentionally intonated expression that set them free.

Coincidence the title of this piece was “Life”?  At this moment, I think not. My body produced the words. My body interpreted the words. My body spoke for my brain, spoke for my mind that which was going unattended. Life.

I wanted to do a proper Ten Things of Thankful post this weekend. This came out instead. It’s pretty awesome to think I still can link up at this very cool hop. Where, if only for 48 hours, I can feel I am among birds of a feather. Joining 2-gether. Flock of one. Never undone.

Thank you. Mr. Jackson.