Meeting people at the Metropolitan Museum was a fine idea but in January??? Maybe I should have checked the local weather or NYC weather but I didn't except I did see that it was going to rain and rain is not so bad but rain and 20 degrees is not good. Disregarding all of the warnings, I went to Kingston and got on an 8:30 bus which usually takes 2 hours. All was fine, window seat, magazines read, juice drunk but then phone calls back and forth between the driver and central command was indicating some trouble. He announced," We're getting off at Newburgh," and then talked to central command again and again, trying to decide if he was to go 300 north or south and then what??? That's when the trouble began...cars went into dream time, slowing down, skidding, fogging out, pulling over and the unspoken bad word BLACK ICE!!!!!BLACK ICE!!!! was telepathically broadcast across the aisles. We all knew that this was not going to be fun. Scenes from every car horror movie imaginable began to unroll....cars, suv's , range rovers were being trucked by the bus in both directions with windows blasted out, fenders off, drivers now sitting in silent shock next to the tow truck operator,relieved of the sliding game that caused an almost tragic life change. Our heads bobbed, looking out the front , the side windows, at cell phones and at people who pulled over to the side with their head in their hands, so they could block out the horror game; or some of us looked right out of the window, close to the bus, at small, gym-toned women in Fit cars, clutching steering wheels tightly and straining their necks so probicscably that it would take 4 weeks of daily workouts to undo their stressed tendons. We were all in this together, an instant community and if it had lasted longer, Doritos would have been shared up and down the aisles!
Having just read a story about a king who learned that "EVERYTHING IS FROM GOD", a great story, I asked myself how this mess could be from God? Is it because I am now trapped, on my 73rd birthday, on a bus that could spin out or turn over, and the only thing I can do is let go, surrender and treat this time as the best birthday gift ever! Time off, totally focused, no packing up the Art Life Institute, being reminded that death, a constant companion, is knocking loudly and this always wakes me up....so what more do I want? It is totally perfect.
And the frosting on the birthday cake was seeing 6 friends at the Met, a party beyond my wildest expectations.