Posted by: Terry - theTravelsketcher | October 5, 2017

Potholes and inventory

Sitting here in Brekie, Scotland, I am taking inventory as I always do after being jarred by life’s potholes, long ago having accepted the reality that as a driver along the road of life I hit potholes and run over curbs that should and could have been missed – the why question frustratingly discarded as unfathomable. The questions without answers always outnumber those with certain conviction, but it is those certainties that I cling to which make sense of it all, regardless of how easily and frequently they slip my conscience mind, causing me to veer toward the next pothole or rough road.

First in the inventory are people, I am blessed with many who add so much to my life – and old friend of 50 years, a newer friend of less than 20 years, and many acquaintances who give me bits of laughter and encouragement along the way. Then there are the people of family, every family is a mix sure to add every flavor of spice you can imagine, all needed in the fullness of a life.

The most important person is my wife, a blend of: usually tolerating my poor driving skills on the road of life, caring enough about me to confront me when I need it, the best travel and dining companion ever, and the best person ever to just hang out with in front of a fire while listening to music, eating cheese and sipping a wee dram (Wine for her).

Underneath all of what I have and am is the complete conviction that in some way, back to those questions without complete answers, I am connected to a man who actually lived a life of mediocrity, who upset his world enough that they abused and killed him in a graphically humiliating and painful manner. This man beat them in the end by not staying dead, and a ragtag bunch of fishermen, tax collectors, and such passed along their visual account of their personal experiences including the invitation to join them in embracing this one who died and yet still lives. Every time I join others who have embraced him in a simple meal of bread and wine it is as if I am sitting at that same table with 13 others some 2000 years ago, faith is renewed and the disorientation of life is reoriented for a moment as it should be.

Hitting potholes and curbs always throws me a bit out of alignment – “Why didn’t I see that coming?” “I could have swerved, I should have swerved.” It leaves me shaken, angry for poor driving skills, embarrassed, wishing forgetting was easier, sorry for shaking up any passengers riding alongside.

Taking inventory reminds me that most of the time I drive OK, that I miss more potholes than I hit, that the people in my life are thankfully forgiving and encouraging, hopefully even endowed with poor memories. And against all logic they actually climb back in the car as we drive on.

So I climb back in the car, turn on the key, put on a smile, and then, with as much confidence and enthusiasm as I can muster, I head out. If that man beat death, if my friends still connect, and if my wife hangs in there, then all is well. Bonne voyage sulla strada di vita!


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