Beauty and the bus

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShe is like a big muscular lover, hulking but gentle. She weighs in at 14,000 lbs. I tiptoe around her, still shy to peer under her belly. Big metal springs, pistons, shafts, and tanks full of toxic fluids lurk below. There is black dirt and rust. Massive rubber tires as high as my shoulder. She is so lovely, and yet, so ugly.

I try to deny her automotive identity. I toss a rug over the massive steering wheel and put a pot of chives on the hood. I tell myself she is not so much a bus as a landlocked ship on wheels, but really, it is ridiculous not to recognize her for what she is. She’s a 1979 Chevy schoolbus. She’s my vessel.

This is the Universe grabbing me by the shirtfront and shaking me hard, throwing my carefully constructed identity back in my face like a glass of cold water. I stand naked in the face of my aversions. Nose to nose with the me I thought I was–Car-free Carmen, who rants about posessions and ownership, property is crime, yada yada yada. Not to mention cars – cars, good god! Wham! I now own both a home and a freakin’ enormous motor vehicle, keys in my hand and papers to prove she is mine.

I asked the Universe for just this: a tiny house among the trees. My wild imagination never dreamed of an old Chevy schoolbus. The trickster Universe gives me exactly what I ask for, but sometimes it comes in a really funny wrapper. The price of the gift is small but steep: one stubborn crumb of self-identity that no longer serves me. Just one passing iteration in the lifelong fabrication, that I in my delusion imagined was me.

In the shaping of heart’s desire I am learning to strike a balance between the general and the specific; to identify what I truly want without getting caught up in details. In this way my options are many and my limitations are few. My arms open wide to receive.

7 Responses to “Beauty and the bus”

  1. helen Says:

    Love that photo!

    I will admit to you Carmen, while I having admired you for inventing, if you will, the no car days in Vancouver, after one early visit to the no car day on Commercial numerous years ago, I never went again. Why did I want to be in such a huge extravaganza?

    Finally many years later, I did go last Sunday to the Main St no car gathering. Through out the day I imbibed in a sweet choir singing as well as a spirited group of 4 young men singing and playing great great tunes and, the best was all the people watching for me.

    Along side the car free day was enormous traffic and cars being towed for parking.

    Get over it girl, that bus will be rarely moving and is your home on an island you love to be on!!

  2. Pattipow Says:

    life is just SO fascinating what it tosses our way, eh? Looking forward to seeing you soon…xo
    P

  3. Pattipow Says:

    …and your lovely gargantuan fossil-fuel burning behemoth, of course.

  4. carmen Says:

    well she burns propane, which apparently is “cleaner” (see how i have been co-opted already?) 😉

  5. Tom Walker Says:

    Cue the dogma-run-over-by-kharma pun?

  6. Mitey Miss Says:

    That’s cool – I’m buying a motorcycle tomorrow! Same nimble two wheels, but the strength and convenience of a motor! I’ll be able to ride the hills of Cortez to visit you lickedy-split! – U.

    Here’s what it looks like: http://capcityscooters.squarespace.com/storage/expression-files/scooters/newscooterpageimages/symba.png

  7. squib Says:

    wow – busy as a bee – I’ve always wanted a treehouse in an orchard, but a converted form of mass transit is also very stylish in all its urbane glory.

    make it sing.

    how do the wheels on the bus go again???
    xox
    >P

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