Between the Lines

A Puddled Crosswalk in Harvard Square; November, 2017

Saturday after sunset, driving back to Massachusetts from Vermont, it began to rain. I hate, hate, hate driving in rain and dark!* But even more, as I explained to my husband—who’d driven the north-bound trip that morning—I hate being “an indolent wife.” So, gripping the steering wheel at 10:00 and 2:00, I pressed southward.

Traffic on I-89 and, eventually, I-93 fairly light, headlights from opposing traffic and beside us provided just enough light to see the white lane lines; definitely a “Light that is given” experience! “All you gotta do,” I coached myself,” is keep the car between those lines as the highway reveals itself, yard by yard.” (And, oh, yeah, keep an eye out for the red tail-lights of night-vision-impaired drivers in front of you going way, way less than sixty-five miles an hour!)

Super-focused, I nevertheless registered a sense of liberation—joy, even—as everything fell away save my one immediate assignment. Everything! Nothing else mattered. I felt held by those lane lines. I felt enormous gratitude for interstate infrastructure!

A couple of times the rain let up, allowing a long-buried memory to surface and to give additional context to my existential experience: When I was a teenager I actually volunteered to visit my town’s church youth groups to tell adolescent Baptists or Episcopalians about my faith. (Why in the world—or, rather, in Lynchburg, Virginia, where my family was living in those days—did I do that?!) A Unitarian-Universalist back then, pretty sure I said something snarky about the Bible because during the Q and A, one of the youth group’s advisors pushed back. “When you go on a road trip you use a map, right?” he said. “So why don’t you use the Bible as your guide?” Pretty sure I countered with something lofty and callow about knowing I could trust a map maker. (And, yes, there was some truth to that man’s question. It’s taken almost sixty years for me to see that!)

Yes, I reflected in the dark. I still trust map makers. Or, in the case of right now, I trust the engineers who designed this wet, noir highway. And I am so grateful for the workmen who laid down these life-saving lines I follow.

I can trust, too, that more Light will be given. Yard by yard. I don’t need to see all of it. I will be given Enough.

 

 

 

*I am not yet a candidate for cataract surgery. But like most people my age, such surgery is in my future.

3 thoughts on “Between the Lines

  1. A lovely piece. Yes, there is a definite sweetness about being given a task with narrow parameters, clear rules, quite do-able — as there is in having faith in the guide lines or verses. But the Bible seems to be filled with lines going every which way — our traditional interpretations are what make for more-or-less dependable guides for which way to go. Rather than an interstate highway, this landscape seems to be a vast parking lot at the mall.

  2. Dear David,

    Well, hello, there, David!!!! WOW, I’m just so, so full of such gratitude for Happy Bountiful Blessed Thanksgiving that I just want to keep saying, Happy Bountiful Blessing Thanksgiving to you two and to you both and to all of you and yours with you awesomely precious family and friends!!!!! 🙂 WOW, David, I so enjoy your brilliantly perceptive comments!!!! You have such keen insight and perception, David, my brothah and friend!!!! WOW!!!! YOU and Patricia are just so, so very blessed and gifted with such a blessedly immense talent as each of you very aptly compose your very engaging words, David!!!!! WOW, David, you’re so right-this is such a lovely piece by Patricia!!!! David, you’ve made such salient points with such astute and acute sagacity with clear-cut perspicaciousness here, my brothah!!!! You have made such right on points in such a succinct and cogent manner, my friend!!!! WOW, what an outstanding comment here when you share and declare, David with these very fine and excellent words,” Rather than an interstate highway, this landscape seems to be a vast parking lot at the mall.” What so very true words here, David, my brothah, that are very pertinent and on point!!!! WOW!!!!! David, once again as usual as always I so enjoy and am blessed by your very powerful comments so chock full of such perspicacity!!!!! WOW!!!!! 🙂

    Please you two and you both and all of you an d yours with your precious and special family and friends continue to have such a Happy Blessed Bountiful Thanksgiving for each and every one of you!!!!! 🙂 May Spirit richly bless you two and you both and all of your blessed family and friends so very full over the brim in overflowing abundant blessings, David!!!!! 🙂

    Peace and Love FOR YOU FOR ALWAYS, my brothahfriend, David, 🙂

    Your sistahfriend FOR ALWAYS in the spirit and Spirit,

    Sherry Gordon in Iowa City, Iowa 🙂

  3. Dear Patricia,

    Well, hello, there, Patricia, and greetings and salutations to you and to you and FOR VERY ESPECIALLY FOR YOU FOR ALWAYS, my so, so very FOR ALWAYS awesomely precious and dearly special soul sistahfriend Christian Quaker woman who you’re For Always so, so very much!!!!! WOW, Patricia, WOW!!!! I’m just so, so very full of such blessedly immense gratitude on this Thanksgiving and, in fact, every day that I just want to keep saying and saying to you both and to you two and to all of both of yours you and yours with your beloved family and friends a Happy Blessed Bountiful Thanksgiving so, so very OVERFLOWING WITH SUCH ABUNDANT BLESSINGS!!!!! 🙂 <3 WOW, my so, so very precious sistah and friend, Patricia, I as usual as always so, so very much love and enjoy awesome David's very brilliant comment above!!!! WOW, David has such keen insight and perception for certain!!!!! I always so, so very much love and enjoy his very astounding comments with his very so chock full of such wisdom thoughts, ideas, and comments so richly full of such engaging perspicacity, Patricia!!!!!! 🙂 Patricia, once again as usual as always I so, so very much love, enjoy, like, and appreciate your very outstanding blog post article here which in such a salient, succinct, and cogent manner is delightfully and magnificently composed with such masterful composition in the written word with such sharply clear-cut perspicaciousness, sistah!!!!!! 🙂 <3 Sistah, I can see why you hate driving in the dark and in the rain. I'd not like that either, Patricia!!!! Sistahfriend, I've never had a driver's license. I took driving lessons when I was a lot younger but I was always intimidated by driving. It seems like the car is like a big hunk of metal that had a mind of its own. As my bad, permanent, chronic physical disabilities became worsened I made the choice to not get a driver's license and not to drive on my own due to those issues. I have trouble with my physical coordination and my hands tremble and shake sometimes. I have such cramping in my hands that I have to print a lot instead of using cursive because my hands hurt and become so cramped when I use cursive. This is why I print all of the time and only sign my signature. Also, I sometimes have spasms and shaking in my legs as well as in my hands so I made the decision that my very bad, permanent, chronic physical disabilities with all of this and with other stuff, too, are just too bad to be driving and that I'd have trouble maintaining control of a car with the physical stuff going on, sister!!!!! Sister, what a miraculous invention with traffic lights and with the white lines on the road which very much indeed provide a guide and a road map as such for you two and for other drivers as well!!!! WOW, Patricia, you both are so, so very brave with driving!!!!! I was scared of driving when I took lessons when I was a lot younger, my so, so very dearest and darling friend. Sisterfriend, I absolutely LOVE so here when you very delightfully share and declare here, "Light that is given," in your very appreciation for the lights from opposing traffic and beside you two giving just enough light to see the white lane lines. WOW, what great creations and inventions with the white lane lines, traffic lights, and with all of the signs beside the road and on the road, too, Patricia!!!! Sistah, I as usual as always once again so love, enjoy, like, and appreciate the marvelous links which you've as usual as always once again featured and included with this very spectacular blog post article here, Patricia!!!! Just as you very wisely said, "Light that is given," I see the very deeply spiritual, profound, and poignant words by Caroline Fox as she said,"Live up to the light thou hast, and more will be granted thee," as she very much believed in such a devoted and dedicated manner that God speaks to human beings by God's Spirit. WOW!!!!! What great words here by Caroline Fox and also by absolutely AWESOME YOU, Patricia!!!!! 🙂 <3 Sistahfriend, YOU just so help and bless me in my walk with Spirit to be just a better human being, a better woman, and a better Christian, my so, so very For Always soul sistahfriend Christian Quaker woman who you're For Always so, so very much!!!!! 🙂 <3 Sisterfriend, I'm with you here in that I, too, feel enormous gratitude for interstate infrastructure, Patricia!!!!! 🙂 I'm so, so very grateful for as well for the workers who painted those guiding white lines on the roads and for all of the very life-saving work on the roads and beside all of the roads and highways with the traffic lights and other signs we all rely upon a great deal, Patricia!!!!! 🙂

    Sistah, WOW, what very interesting and fascinating, such fantastically fun-filled reading it was for me and each of us to about how you as a teenager then in the Unitarian Universalist Church witnessed to other teenagers who were Baptist about your faith back then. WOW!!!!! I know that this must have been a challenge with their fundamentalist beliefs, my so, so very precious, dearest and darling sistahfriend!!!!! 🙂 <3 WOW, how appreciative I am as well for map makers with their very helpful maps!!!!! Sistah, i, trust, too, along with you that more Light will be given like how you two found on the highway yard by yard. We all with our utter faith in the Very Faith who is Spirit can know that we don't have to see it all because we are blessed by being given Enough with the Fullness and Very Fulfillment who is our So, So Very Great, Good, and Steadfast, Ever Loving God, Patricia!!!!! WOW!!!! YAY!!!!!! YAY YAY YAY YAY!!!!!! My friend, as I percolate on how there are very many of us who have different faith traditions and/or no faith belief at all I truly think, feel, and believe in all of my very, very heart, and in my very, very heart, mind, soul, and spirit with all that I have with all of my very being that as we all have different faith traditions and belief systems or no particular faith belief and tradition at all that it is like how people take different routes going down different preferred streets along their varying routes to get to the exact same destination with the Great Destination being Spirit. People in all of our glorious variety have different preferences and I've always noticed in observing that folks take different routes that they personally prefer in taking different streets to get to the exact same destination. WOW, Patricia, your very fine and excellent blog post article here makes me just percolate and percolate on my very heartfelt, detailed, and thorough thoughts, ideas, and comments, my so, so very dearest and darling, precious sistah and friend!!!!! 🙂 <3

    Sistah, I'm just so, so full of such greatly immense blessings and gratitude at this blessed time of Thanksgiving and, in fact, every day, Patricia!!!!! I'm just so, so very in my very life and eternally grateful for our So, So Very Sweet Spirit who just so, so very much loves and cherishes me and YOU, Patricia, and each and every one of us just as I, and we, love and cherish God Spirit so, so very much, too!!!!! 🙂 <3 I'm just so, so very incredibly blessed by YOU, my dear, dearest, precious Patricia, and for my other so, so very absolutely awesome white sisterfriends as YOU, my sistah, and other great and special white women are my very, very heart in just so, so very much loving and cherishing each and every one of you as such precious, so, so very right on, wondrously wonderful white women!!!!! 🙂 <3 I think so, so very highly of YOU, my friend, Patricia, and of other super white women so, so very much caring about and for each of you in thinking so, so much that you all are so, so very goodhearted, goodnatured, loving, caring, nice, kind, sweet, sensitive, friendly, gentle, nurturing, and such abosulutely FANTASTIC people with such the very overall awesomeness and such good people!!!!! 🙂 <3 Sistahfriend YOU and other so, so very dearest and darling white women are my by far very, very favorites among white people but also my by far very, very favorites among all people in general, my friend!!!!! I just so, so very much in my very life and my Eternity so, so very grateful for and appreciate YOU, dearest Patricia, and for other so, so very cool in spirit and Spirit white women with each and every one of you giving me such joys and blessings in my very life and eternally as well!!!!! 🙂 <3 I'm so, so very grateful and blessed with my beloved, blessed, and precious church friendsfamily at my awesome church here where I live in my amazing Iowa City, Iowa called Faith United Church Of Christ. I've been a member at this holy church since the 1990s and I love everybody there as my so, so very dearest and darling, precious sisterfriends and brotherfriends as my so, so very dearest friendsfamily where I am an open, out, rejoicing and proud Christian lesbian woman!!!!! 🙂 <3 I'm just so, so very blessed and grateful for being clean and sober in Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous since Sunday, August 5, 1990 and for being a rejoicing and proud member of very, very many other of my multiple 12-Step Programs!!!! I so, so very much love 12-Step Programs!!!! I love my awesome friends from the meetings and everybody from these very healing meetings and all of my friends everywhere both near and far, Patricia!!!!! 🙂 <3 Sistahfriend, I pray for and think of daily and very frequently of YOU, dear Patricia, your beloved husband, your so, so very dearest Loved One in the long term care facility, your darling children, your precious grandchildren, your wonderful siblings, for your so, so very blessedly holy and pure in heart friendsfamily at you Friends Meeting at Cambridge, for your so, so very cool in spirit and Spirit yoga friends, and, in fact, for all of your friends, and for other folks, too, just praying without ceasing sending to each and every one of you such greatly strong positive energy!!!!!! 🙂 <3 I love each and every one of you so, so very much just cherishing all of you and so appreciating all of your so, so very dear thoughts and prayers for me which are for sure blessing me and helping me a lot!!!!! I sure do need all of those greatly loving and caring prayers and thoughts from you all for sure!!!!! I thank-YOU all so, so very much For Always!!!!! 🙂 <3 Sister I thank-YOU and God continually for YOU, Patricia, and FOR YOUR VERY PRESENCE IN MY VERY LIFE!!!!! 🙂 3 Patricia, YOU are such a joy and blessing to me just as I know that YOU ARE for very, very many other people, too, with ME, and with all of us just so, so very much loving and cherishing YOU just as I, and we, know that you so love and cherish us, too!!!!! 🙂 <3 Sistahfriend, YOU are just the very greatest and the best and such the very, very epitome of such overall awesomeness, Patricia!!!!! 🙂 <3 Patricia, Spirit so, so very much loves and cherishes YOU A WHOLE LOT and SO DO I A WHOLE BUNCH, TOO!!!!!! 🙂 <3

    Very Warmly and Sincerely FOR ALWAYS, my so, so very FOR ALWAYS awesomely special and dearly precious soul sistahfriend Christian Quaer white woman who you're FOR ALWAYS SO, SO VERY MUCH, Patricia, sisterfriend of mine, with My and Spirit's Very Peace and Love FOR YOU FOR ALWAYS, sister of mine, and with SUCH BLESSINGS AND SUCH VERY EVEN MORE BLESSINGS FOR YOU FOR ALWAYS, friend of mine, 🙂 <3

    YOURS FOR ALWAYS soul sistahfriend Christian black woman and FOR ALWAYS in the very great spirit of unity and solidarity, Sherry Gordon in Iowa City, Iowa 🙂 <3

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