I ran a red light yesterday. I didn’t mean to, of course, and had, as a matter of course, been reminding myself to be conscious and pay attention to traffic after an earlier miss when a car had abruptly slowed for a turn into a driveway, only signaling at the last moment. I hadn’t realized I was running the light until mid-way through the intersection which was too late to do much of anything except glance both ways for on-coming traffic, thankfully none, and getting on through as quick as I could. I almost heard the “What was she thinking?” from the cars behind me who had stopped.
What was I thinking? I don’t think I was except for noting the sound of sirens from somewhere. Maybe that was my warning, but I’d heard sirens all morning from one quarter or another. And not three minutes later, a police car did pull around me, on the right where there was no right hand lane, and dashed through at another stoplight where I had stopped. And then, not five minutes later, I ran out of right hand lane because I was so distracted by carefully watching the traffic around me that I missed the warning that the lane ended. Another car kindly allowed me to move over and proceed, and I did, but mostly I just wanted to get to school and stop.
The sirens followed me home after class last night with two police cars erupting out of a cross street and stopping in front of a house where a women walked across the lawn shaking her fist. I stayed in the left lane, out of reach of the shaking fist, while at the same time understanding the frustration and fervor with which she addressed not only the police but the world in general.
And while the sirens wail in our town, across Alabama, people are counting their dead from tornadoes and across the Atlantic, Prince William and Kate are marrying in an ancient ceremony watched by millions. She, of course, not just choosing a wedding dress, but a dress that will withstand centuries of scrutiny. No pressure there.
Now I admit that I spent entirely too much time trying to make sense of life these days – I keep looking for the puzzle piece that somehow fits all these disparate other pieces and makes an understandable picture. Perhaps I’m simply indulging in magical thinking. Perhaps there is no piece that creates a whole; perhaps the world is simply awry.
Or perhaps it is as it always is. More complex than I, or anyone else, can understand and we are simply living in a time that allows us to see the complexity more clearly.
Seeing complexity clearly. I will wish myself luck with that one! I can see the complexity but I’m less likely to allow it to just clearly be without struggling to make sense. It’s like thinking that if I can get one last pile of papers off the desk, I’ll be done. It’s not done. That which is continues to be.
And so, an early morning meandering to make sense of my life ends up with an is. It is. Just as That-Which-We-Call-God is. Just as love is. Just as hope is.
For now, that’s enough.