If we think about it, there are only so many paths between here and Nirvana. There are so many ways to transcend above the heaviness of daily life or to find freedom and personal reincarnation, or salvation, and the extinction of the routine hatred or the daily manifestations and the delusions of life as we know it.
If we think about it, there are only so many chances and only so much time for one to redeem themselves before time runs out. Life is only a window of opportunity, which is amazing to me, as long as we live this way. Otherwise, we find ourselves in the polar opposite and imprisoned by an external world that we’ve taken all too personally.
Maybe for some.
But not for me.
There are people that play for points or for money and then there are people that play to live and reach the next level. There are people that cross our paths and people that run in a parallel existence. Either way, life can be all too intense; always changing, and always switching when we least expect it. This is enough to drive a sane person crazy, which is why I’ve devised a plan to keep me safe and create a visualization of what freedom looks like.
I close my eyes and take my breaths to separate me from the obstacles and the distractions. I close my eyes to imagine the feel of wind blowing through my hair. I allow myself to detach and envision myself in a car, usually red, with the top down in an old classic with off-white interior. The road is straight and long, just like the one I took when I drove from El Paso into New Mexico when I was a boy. There is nothing but desert on either side of me. The sun is up in a bright blue sky. No clouds. No threats. Just the road.
I see me here because this is my spirit horse. This is a journey I’ve imagined a thousand times and in a thousand different ways. I am happy. My collar is spread open, revealing my chest, and the sleeves to my white linen button down are rolled up above my elbows.
There is a brown leather satchel in the passenger seat, in which I have everything I need. I have something to write with and something to read. I have something to inspire me and something to repair the loose ends of my sanity.
I enjoy the warmth of this trip. I love the sun on my face and the warmth on my skin. I have no direction in mind, which is perfect because this trip is not so much about direction as it is about a trip to find my purpose.
The tension in my brow is gone. The nerves that bunch my shoulders and stiffen my neck have resigned their position. There is no tension or fear or doubts or worry. There is only the benefit of the open road and the radio, which can play whatever I choose.
Maybe I head further west. Maybe this trip takes me straight to the Pacific and I can go to somewhere, like say, someplace I have never been before. I can find a little town, perhaps, or a place where people are warm and waiting for strangers to come, just to say, “Hi” without any agenda, other than to be kind.
I think about this trip of mine. I think about this whenever life tends to be too heavy. I think about this when work is too stressful or when my efforts come up short. I think about this drive and I keep it close in case disappointment finds me. I use this vision as a means to coax my brain into a mindset of freedom because freedom is just that; it’s a mindset.
Breathe and dream. Imagine yourself and detail your vision as perfectly as you can. See the details like I do because the brain only registers the emotion of the experience; it can’t always tell the difference between reality and imagination.
Sometimes we imagine ourselves in bad positions. Sometimes we see ourselves on the bad end of a bad bargain. And we think to ourselves, “How the hell did I end up here.” We spend so much time thinking about the entrapment of a bad deal that we take on the emotions of that deal; as if the trade already happened. Meanwhile, this is only a miscalculation. This is only an interpretation of an illusion. This isn’t true. This is only a production of an irrational imagination that grew legs and took off running.
Since this works in one direction, then it would have to equally work in the other direction. That’s why I take this drive. I am protected here and safe. I am free to drive as fast or as slow as I choose. I can change the color and make of the car. If I choose to, I can change the color of the sky by picturing either the sunset or the sunrise. In fact, as I write to you, I find myself in preparation to take the road and find my way towards Nirvana.
This is one of my forms of meditation. I allow this vision of mine to take on a narrative of its own, in which case, I become my own hero as I make my way from Las Cruces and head west on I-10. I can drive through Deming, New Mexico and head through the vastness of pure land and visions of desert and mountains, passed Sierra Vista, passed Tucson, Oro Valley, Casa Grande, which is where I can switch over to the I-8 and pass Yuma and San Luis before crossing into California. Then I’ll pass Calexico, San Diego, Encinitas, and then take a ride up the coast on the other side of my Country.
All the tensions and all the business negotiations are behind me. All the bad blood, the resentments, and all the impurities that stain my life are blown through the exhaust from my muffler and placed somewhere unobjectionable. I can feel the smile on my face. I can feel the wind in my hair. I can feel the speed and the ground moving beneath me. I can feel the power of this trip as the weight on my shoulders gives way and disappears into nothingness.
I keep this dream with me because sometimes life has other things in store. However, there are only so many paths to Nirvana. There are only so many roads to the everlasting freedom and the never ending resource of personal reincarnation, salvation, and the imagination which can open up the mind to a freedom that awaits me.
This is just a trip.
This doesn’t mean I’m leaving or going anywhere. This doesn’t mean I want to leave the people I love or care about. Not at all. This is only an idea that I play with when the tension gets too high. This way, I take on the emotions and the feelings of my freedom instead of the emotion of being stuck in a place where I’d rather not be.
By the way, thanks.
I’m smiling now.
Because I can see myself in the car. I can see the drive and I can see the beach. I can see the road on the interstate that hugs the Western Coastline.
And you know what?
It helps . . .