Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Getting There

When I first moved to this area, I lived in one of those enormous apartment complexes with a "The" name (I love how high-rises have "The" names to make them sound chic: The Bentley, The Rosemond, in this case The Berkshire). The Berkshire was a fascinating place to live because the demographic was polarized between the very old, who'd lived there since the building was constructed (and who periodically managed to set their kitchens on fire) and the very young, who were attending the University up the street (and who periodically managed to set their kitchens on fire). It was fun...particularly if you were fond of 3 a.m. fire drills.

One of the pecularities of living in a place like this was the parking situation. I was always stressed out about where the car was going to go. There was a perpetual dearth in the outside lot and I refused to pay for a garage spot and the street in front had rush hour parking rules. Periodically, the law of averages would prevail and I'd get that sweet spot right in the circle out front...and I wouldn't move the car until there was just no way around it.

It eventually dawned on me how completely ridiculous it was. I mean, I was always going to have to move the car. I wasn't going to let my car just sit the circle forever. Choice spots come and go...but you can't stop the world for them. It was a nice moment, that didn't make it any easier to get up at 6 a.m. to move my car from one side of the road to the other, but it was still a nice moment...a shift in perspective.

Yesterday at the gym, I was pretending to be a hamster on the treadmill and skimming a magazine with one of those articles about people who lost half their body weight. One woman was quoted as saying "You know, there's no 'getting there' for me..." -- she said it was a daily effort to maintain her health...and she knew the consequences of forgetting that.

...and I thought, as I ran to nowhere in particular, how true that is in the larger sense. We don't really ever 'get there,' do we? It's true with respect to attaining health...and happiness...and peace...and success...and parking places. There's no 'getting there' in life...only this transient, changing, constant motion...

I find it comforting to remember that we're never really parked anywhere for long

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