Travel rarely goes as expected. All the pre-planning, list-ticking, and worst-case-scenario pondering can’t foresee the unforeseeable.
Case in point:
Denver had a little weather yesterday. Just a little. Snow flurries and a bit of ice. Air traffic control asked our flight out of Des Moines to sit tight while they took care of that. Subsequently, I had 10 minutes to get from one end of the Denver airport to the other to catch my connection to Albuquerque.
In an understandably heightened state, I thought I heard the flight attendant say all checked baggage would be taken to their planes. I had to check my bag at the gate, so I thought I was safe to bolt and run as fast as my fat little legs could go without causing a heart attack.
I actually pushed people out of my way, and I think I trampled a small child. Think Rogue elephant in a pink sweatshirt.
But I got to the tiny commuter plane, squeezed my ass into a seat clearly built for anorexics, and tried to catch my breath.
Wait a minute. My bag doesn’t have my flight info on it. How will they know where to take it?
So I uncorked from the seat, asked the pimply flight attendant who sent me back to the gatekeeper.
Back over the icy, narrow gangplank, down an slippery ramp, I gaze into the face of “No Fucks Given Here.”
No, my bag won’t be transferred. No, I don’t have time to get it. Get someone to give a fuck in Albuquerque.
Okay, I thought, squeezing across the rickety gangplank, I’ve managed worse. I can do this. If all else fails, I show up at the workshop empty-handed and live in the same clothes for five days. No biggie.
To keep my mind from stewing, I started a wonderful book on creativity by Susan Wooldridge called Foolsgold. In it she talks about a time in her life when her father died and her marriage broke up.
By the creek just now, lost and stuck, I feel like dropping everything once again. What’s the use? I tell myself. Why keep trying so hard?
Listening to the water, I watch the creek and drift with it. I lie back in the grass with my feet in the water. A seed-laden stem curves over my face…A bird lands above a grapevine…Floating, letting go, “out of my mind'” I begin to notice what’s around me…
Suddenly I can’t remember what’s wrong. Clearly my life is blessed.
In Albuquerque I found someone who gave quite a few fucks. My bag arrived on the next plane. At Budget Rental, A Scotsman named Gil drained my weariness by calling me “lassie” and singing the rental agreement with his tumbling “rrrr”s and fat, round vowels.
I drove north out of Albuquerque as dusk turned the mountains into indigo shadows.
“Hello, West,” I said, dipping my mental feet into its current.
Clearly my life is blessed.