Amuse / Illuminate / Inspire / News

On Mack Trucks and Magical Thinking

It’s Earth Day 2017 and I’m not marching; I’m meditating.

As President Twit and his handlers summarily and systematically dismantle decades of incremental progress forward, we have all been struck with a feeling of violent unreality. It’s been like being hit, in slow motion, by a Mack Truck.

And I know, because that happened to me.

the Mighty Foubavole, circa 1991 ~ click to see details…

In the 1990s, I drove an art car, a 1983 Toyota Corolla painted in a cartoon version of our vulnerable ecosystem. A rising ocean splashed up the hood; a forest fire licked at the trunk. Horses and cows frolicked under puffy clouds and King Kong climbed the empire state building. A fragile layer of ozone separated the sky from the heavens on top, framing a distant sun against a universe filled with stars. And the angels of dinosaurs were eternally being sucked into the gas tank. I drove not a car but a work of art, moving through streets in a bubble of meaning that other people would enter, respond to, and be moved by. Eyes would light up everywhere I would go, and I would always wonder: Why don’t more people drive art cars?

I was in an exit lane on the highway with my elbow out the window when an 18-wheeler signaled and started moving into my lane. I hit the gas to move out of his way, but the driver didn’t see me. The 18-wheeler merged right into my rear bumper and spun my little car sideways. I screamed as the shiny chrome bulldog logo on the grilled swung towards my open window.

When everything stopped, I was surprised to be in one piece. The Mighty Foubavole was technically totaled with a bend in its chassis, but the farting cows were still smiling, the sun was still shining, and I was able to drive home, shaking like an earthquake.

I didn’t want to get out of bed for a week after that. I walked around in a daze and was sore all over. In the mirror I looked fine, but my soul just didn’t want to be in my body. Finally, someone hooked me up with a gentle chiropractor. I told him I felt so weak I couldn’t even seem to lift a coffee cup. “No wonder,” he said. “You fought off a Mack truck with your bare hands.”

The kind doctor found my body, like my car, physically intact, but I needed healing on other levels. He worked some sort of magic to stitch my physical body together with my etheric, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies.

And so here we are, slammed apart, trying to pull ourselves together as a country and as a community connected with the Earth, our big physical body. What sort of healing will it take to align the physical and astral bodies of the planet? And how do we stop this oil-burning machine from slamming into us over and over again?

One enlightened way to deal with the darkness is to love it.* Painting that car was my way of loving the combustibles of climate change—fire, horsepower, dinosaur residue, farting cows—and embracing the coming floods. But my Art Car had to go, just as all combustion cars have to go.

I am visioning, today, an army of artists painting a new future. Paint our roofs white to reflect, not absorb the heat. Paint elephants, bees, seahorses, tigers—things we want to keep. It is not magic, it is reality that our imaginations call forth new futures. Paint new narratives without tanks, oil wells, robot armies. Paint treasures of peace and possibility that existed before our machinations.

Let’s accept what is real and affirm what can be: I was part of the destruction and I will be part of a new creation. 

*(See my Love Letter to trump in last month’s Generous Muse~archives are all linked.)

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