Black Ice and the Road to Here

I was in a good place yesterday and I am still there today. I have been here before but I can’t remember the path to getting here. I just seem to happen. It is hard to describe. It is like driving on dry ice. Let me explain:

Years ago when our family was moving from Janesville, Wisconsin, to Alexandria, Minnesota, we launched out with a moving van out ahead followed by Bernie in one vehicle and I in the other. I can’t remember which cars the kids were in but the cat was definitely in mine. Bernie would not have brought him. I worked with the vet to make sure Scooter was drugged. At one point he woke enough to use the litter box and then proceeded to lay down right there through the rest of the trip. Bernie and I were able to communicate with one another using the CB radio that my parents had gotten me for my safety when I chose to go to Madison to get my degree. It was fun to listen to the truckers talk about those of us in the cars, warn about police cars up ahead and all of the other things truckers like to talk about. I had a handle, “Angel”, chosen by my family. I was flattered.

The day was bitterly cold and the wind was gusty.  I was tense. There was no turning back and no pulling off.  When we got near the border where I-94 would take us into our new state, snow started falling, not heavy but between the wind and the trucks stirring it around, I was getting nervous. The truckers were cautious – their radio banter had ceased. They were concentrating, I am sure.

Suddenly, my car lunged forward. It felt like I’d just shifted from sneakers to roller skates. It seemed my car was out of control but didn’t swerve.  It just moved over the road, but not on it. In hind sight, it was what I think time traveling might be like.  Just as suddenly, my wheels grabbed the road again. Feeling safe once again on my rubber-meets-the-road condition, I spoke into the radio, “What the hell was that?”.  A trucker responded, “Welcome to black ice, Sweetheart.” I am guessing the trucker and his buddies behind him were glad that I’d just gone with the flow of the car instead of trying to get control by messing with the steering wheel or slamming my breaks.

That sort of explains how I got to where I am today. I let go of the steering wheel and I didn’t slam on my breaks either. Here is what happened, I mean, here is how I know that I am here. Yesterday morning, I got around to a piece of writing that I have been avoiding for months. As I worked, I suddenly lunged forward. The ideas and connections were swirling around like snow stirred by wind and truckers. I worked until I had to stop to get on with the rest of my day. The swirling stopped but the forward glide I realized I’d moved ahead with barely an effort on my part. In fact, the ideas were way ahead of my ability to write them down – the dry ice effect.

The time I spent writing had me leaving the house a couple of hours later than I had planned. I wanted to spend some time at the pool, part of my post-surgery practice. The road to Little Falls was good even though it was misting. My windshield wanted to ice up so I had to blast my defrosters. When I arrived at the hotel where I swim, the guy at the desk asked me how the roads were. “Fine,” I told him. He said, “When I came to work a couple of hours ago, the parking lot was solid ice.” I’d left my cane at home. The physical therapist told me that the worst thing I could do with my new knee is to fall. The reality didn’t escape me. I realized the connection between being held by the creative moment and being protected from possible danger. I was still gliding on black ice and I am still on ice today.

I wish I knew the road to here.