48 essays by Elizabeth Shé

Posts Tagged ‘Carol King’

Essay #27: stuck

In Love on September 12, 2011 at 7:53 pm

I’ve been spending a lot of time in my car lately, driving to rehearsals far away. “So far away… Doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore?” sings Carol King.

Sometimes I get stuck in traffic. I try to relax, breathe, let it be, but the truth is I hate it. I’m afraid I’ll be here forever, trapped on a bridge over the Nisqually River, with hundreds of noisy, stinky, hot cars. Pierced in Pierce County, unable to move, 40 more miles to go.

Is there a benefit to being stuck? Do I really want to go that fast? In that direction?

The last time I got snagged in traffic, I pulled off the next exit, over the pass, and headed the other direction, towards home. I remembered I have options.

My thinking gets stuck, wedged in a rut, caught in catastrophe. Hear a funny noise? Car’s about to break down. Lost keys? Stolen, and burglars are planning a visit. Ringing phone? Got to be bad news, Bear.

I get stuck expecting the worst, which doesn’t always happen. The noise turns out to be a passing motorcycle. The keys are in a jacket pocket. There’s good news at the end of the line. “Fate is kind,” sings Jiminy Cricket.

Is that true? Perhaps I’m fused to how it used to be, not how it actually is. Glued to outdated thinking (i.e., I should’ve known better). Anxiety wears and tears me down.

Must I expect anything? Is it possible to react to what is actually happening, instead of what I’m afraid will happen? The truth is, I always have a choice. There are consequences, sure, but there are options, too, despite what Fear tells me.

Perhaps I’m not so much stuck, as gathered. Collected. Assembled. Pulled and pooled together.

“Come together,” sing The Beatles, “Right now, over me.”