Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I Planned To Go To Yoga

And someone else this morning planned to get somewhere on Highway 158, which is the road to my yoga teacher's house.
The people who planned to go somewhere were going fast. One was headed east, one west.
They ran into each other. I don't know details. "Head-on collision" said the cop directing traffic. It looked like every emergency and rescue vehicle in Jefferson County was there, lights flashing. Two ambulances were heading west as I pulled up and had to stop. Both had their lights on, no sirens, they were not rushing.
The remains of the car I saw didn't look like a car at all. It was tiny as if every molecule of car had been compressed. There was no car form in that twisted metal and plastic. None. No one could have survived that.
There were people standing around. Relatives? The folks who live at the horse farm right there? Yes. They were gawking, they were crying, they were stunned. How can we understand such sudden violent death?
People speed down that two-lane country road all the time. They pass on the double yellow. I get passed a lot. I get tail-gated. Hurry, hurry, hurry! I can feel the frustration of people who are not content going ten miles an hour over the speed limit. There are curves. There are trees. There are driveways. There are horses and animals and children. Hurry, hurry! I have to get there in a hurry! I am late!
I did not make it to yoga. They wouldn't let me pass through that snarl of emergency vehicles, that scene of sudden death. That's okay for me. I turned around and came home. I will take my walk.
But someone- someone did not make it to where they were going in a hurry on this gray day.
And they never will.

Hard to understand.

Let's not be in such a hurry that we lose our minds, our lives. Okay?


  1. Sad, sad. And you're so right. I'm so glad you weren't in that spot just a little bit sooner.

  2. Awful. I was driving on a busy motorway in the rain earlier, with trucks overtaking each other and then cars overtaking them and all trying to squeeze through the same gap at the same time. People don't seem to realise this could be lethal.

  3. People are so stupid. But it's hard to realise you're being stupid when you're in the middle of being it.

  4. It doesn't make sense until you think about what is behind most of it -- habit. My relatives in Alabama drive like bats outta... most of them. My SIL's brother, a police officer, tattles. There is NO REASON for this. My sister admits it is a habit from the days when she was working many miles from home rushing to pick up her child, to get to the store, etc. Now that he is grown and she is retired, she STILL does it.

    It's even more insane up here.

    When I go home, I sometimes am waved ahead, over, in front in traffic and it is a surprise and a delight. My son comments on it. "People are just nice in the South. It feels safe. I miss it." He told me this recently (he was raised here, just outside of D.C.).

    But here, if you put on a blinker to indicate you wish to change lanes, etc., that triggers aggression. People get into duels on the road, kill themselves and others around them. We call the police when we see it. Sometimes they ADMIT "there is nothing we can do."


    Senseless. Too many rats in a cage.

  5. Very sad.

    On a happier note, this made me think of you and your chickens:

  6. What a sobering reminder. I see a lot of aggression and some really bad accidents here too. I'm going to drive veeerry slow in the snow.
    Take care, enjoy your walk.

  7. This is exactly why I hate driving down Old Bainbridge Road, which I must do every day to take my grandson to school. It's pretty scary. I'm glad you are OK. What a tragedy.

  8. Thank Christ you are okay.

    Like I said yesterday, how fragile we are.

    Christmas will be fucked for some poor family now, won't it?

    I love you.

  9. I was just reading Glimmer's comment and to me, "habit" makes even less sense. Most of our bad habits don't cause other people to die, you know? (and I am not criticizing her at all, I hope you know that) The whole thing just breaks my heart; those people in a hurry sure aren't getting where they are going now, are they? It drives me insane. I will send up good thoughts for them-and every affected by such a senseless, terrible, horrific tragedy.

  10. Oh, mama, I'm glad that wasn't you! Poor folks. This is why I drive like I do.

  11. Do you drive like the elderly, dtg?

    That's good, as long as you don't underspeed, and force aggressive drivers to overtake in a rage and then crash into someone else - I've known it happen!

  12. Jo- Shit. Me too.
    But I'm sorry anyone was.

    HoneyLuna- I am just fine. Except for my foot. Which is on ice. Dang.
    I was trying to catch a chicken...

    Mwa- I seriously do not think the human brain has evolved enough to accept the fear of death by car. At least we sure don't drive that way.

    Jo- I totally relate to that.

    Glimmer- And all the rats have to be somewhere soon. We do wave people through here but when it comes to speeding- not very polite. I have frequently pulled over and let someone pass me who obviously was extremely frustrated by my slowness. I don't mind doing this and it's less stressful for all concerned.

    Nola- Damn. Now I want a blind deer as a pet.

    Mel- Do it! Better to be late than ever arrive at all.

    Lois- That's another one of those roads. Mr. Moon and I almost bought the most beautiful old plantation house once, way up Meridian Road past Bannerman but I just couldn't bear the thought of waiting for teenagers to get home at night, driving down that dangerous road. We did not buy it.

    Ms. Bastard- Fucked and fucked. When I called my yoga teacher to tell her why I wasn't going to be in class, she said, "Oh! I hope it's no one we know."
    I said, "Well, it's always someone that someone knows." And it's true. Someone's loved one.

    Kori- Heartbreak. All around.

    Steph- Yep. Take your time, girl.

    DTG- Your brain is more highly evolved than most, my dear son.

  13. Jo- Yes. DTG does drive like the elderly. In fact, ever since he began to drive I have told him that he is channeling my grandfather.

  14. Ms. Moon, your comments are the best! I'm happy to report in with the roads are salted and fine, and people are driving sensibly for now. It is always someone someone knows, isn't it? You do have a way with these words :) My hubby drives like dtg, he's been in an accident and is always prepared with an out, a defensive strategy. He'll teach our teens well, I hope.
    Stay safe everybody!

  15. What a tragic reminder to slow the hell down.

    I had grand plans for my day off. Instead, because of the snow, I am snuggling with the dog. Safe and warm!

  16. It's a shock to wake up to life and be hit with death. Glad you went home to the chickens and your writing and your life. Hope the rest of your day is sweet.

  17. it's a total lack of imagination.

    they can't imagine the mess, they can't imagine the pain, the can't imagine the horror...

    lots of young people are like this when they first start driving. i keep having to hang up on my step son for calling us on his mobile, while makes me look like a complete idiot but it's my new tactic to make him stop.

    people who drive like this don't expect it to ever happen to them. unfortunately when this stuff happens it also often happens to SOMEONE ELSE as well.

    having kids has made my anxieties worse...and my brother is an ambulance driver and whilst before he'd happily drive at 180kms an hour with Metallic screaming at him on the stereo, now he drives slow and careful...because he's seen too much of the bad stuff.

  18. i meant metallicA of course (now i really sound like an old fogey, at 36)

  19. Very very sad. Reminded me of two things. One...when my best friend from high school died in a car accident. Tragic and I think of her all the time. I miss her....

    The other....when I was on my way home from work and I was traveling on a twisty, curvy road that has no shoulders, many drop offs, and trees, lots of trees...and wild turkeys, deer........Anyway, some guy must have been speeding through that area and collided with something, ejected him and he was stuck in a tree. Dead. I didn't see him but I was friends with one of the emergency response guys and he told me things that I'll never forget which also reminded me of why I could never do that job.

    I'll say a little prayer for the family of the victims.

  20. I didn't mean people waved me through, etc., because I was speeding! I am an old lady driver. I just mean people in the south being polite in general -- getting to a stop first but letting me go first just to be nice. I do think that might be partly because in my small hometown, there are not as many people.

    As far as the habit thing, that's just because my sister and my relatives admit they are in the habit of speeding and I tend to believe them. They aren't actually in a hurry to be anywhere. Maybe there is something underneath it, I don't know, it is baffling.

    And then even on weekend days when I know not everyone is rushing to be at work where I am in the D.C. suburbs, still the insane aggressive rushing driving. So I have to think it is because everyone does it all the time (except for me-- and the husband, among the few) and just won't turn it off.

    That's what I meant. Of course I am no expert. Not wedded to these thoughts.

  21. I saw something like this one time, it was terrible.

    It was on a busy highway here in the city, and there were just people scrambling and screaming and the police couldn't get through and it was terrible.

    I'm so glad you are okay.
    I hope the shakes go away soon.

  22. Mel- There is nothing so awful as that furious crunch of metal against metal. We do not forget that.

    Dish- That sounds like a grand plan to me.

    Screamish- Yes. Children increase our worries a million times over.

    Rebecca- How gruesome! I think we all lost friends in high school to car wrecks. Rite of passage. A horrible one.

    Glimmer- No. I get it. We all get in the habit of going fast and not thinking about it. Don't be afraid to say what you think.

    Lora- It is sickening, isn't it?

  23. Damn. I wonder who it was... Makes me sad to hear.

    Incidentally, since we're on this topic, my in laws got run off the road in the wee hours and had to swerve into the Lawrence's parking lot to avoid a major accident. We should all be way more careful, especially around here.
    xo pf

  24. I am so glad that you weren't in on of those cars!!!
    I feel the same way driving to work in the snow and ice. People pass, throwing up clouds of s
    blinding snow, and my knuckles are white from gripping the steering wheel. I just hate it.
    I think you had a pretty good excuse to miss yoga. And to feed your chickens, drink some rum, or whatever else you need to do to relax!

  25. Going faster and faster to nowhere.
    What is it with our world? what happens with just peaceful obeying the law that is there not to annoy those who like to speed but to protect others from them and their irrational attitude?

    Many years ago I was a member of the Civil Defense Academy and learned all about speed and other safety issues in case of natural disasters and how to take people to safety and how to make sure that panic would not play a part in whatever was already upside down. One of the things that really made an impression was the fact that going just 10 miles over the speed limit increased your chances of "waking up dead" disproportionaly to the chances of going at the speed limit and it will get you there only five minutes faster because you would have to contend with those going at the speed limit. Five minutes worth a lifetime.

    Napoleon got it right when asking his manservant, “Dress me slowly, I'm in a hurry”. I am grateful you are fine and I am sorry someone had to witness something that breaks the spirit as easily as seeing a waste of life.

  26. Ms. Fleur- No idea. And we should all be careful, no matter what road we are driving down.

    Rachel- I came home and re-injured my damn foot and have spent the day mostly on the couch with it on ice. No rum for me tonight. Don't have the energy to drink it.

    Allegra- And that is why I pull over and let the speeders have their joyful way with the road. Napolean was right about hurrying. It is so easy to get in a panic about being a few minutes late and to forget about the consequences of trying to go too fast. The accident has certainly been in my mind all day long.

  27. I'm sorry you hurt your foot again. I can think of anything to say about anything these last few days. But I wanted to say hello at least and let you know I'm here reading. Glad you're there writing. And all your readers too.

  28. we live in our cars in L.A. I say a prayer before I drive EVERYDAY, with my four little lives buckled up in car seats behind me.

    Everyone, everywhere, needs to slow down.
    Apparently, the chickens you chase do, too!


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