My car stereo wouldn't work this afternoon. I found myself incessantly punching the on/off button during a midday errand and on the drive home, on the very small chance it might come on. Typically, I listen to at least three of the following on any given day: a CD, a tape, FM radio (Pacifica or else an eclectic assortment of music stations, and generally NOT NPR except that sometimes I get sucked into "As It Happens" from the CBC), AM radio (headlines and traffic reports). Or sometimes a book on CD (Freakonomics most recently).
So this was a big deal.
And then finally I realized, it's Lent. I've read about some other bloggers taking this as an opportunity for reflection. I've never observed Lent, and I'm not sure I will now, but it was a good reminder to take stock of what I consume. Am I glutton for stimulation by recorded music or broadcast voice? Yes. Is that a problem? Maybe. Perhaps I will wait to buy a new 15-amp fuse for a few days and see what that brings. Of course, then I won't be able to eject the CD of Shaker songs and the tape of Jesus Christ Superstar that were stuck in there when the fuse blew....
When I started commuting to work by car to a regular job for the first time ever (*not counting some summer and temp jobs during or right after college), four years ago at the age of 36,
I thought seriously about trying to pursue "driving meditation." I've never had a consistent practice -- how could I in the circumstances? -- but it's something I do recall from time to time. And there have been many days when I've listened to moving music, or observed scenes of great beauty over the hills and the bay, or seen a red-tailed hawk perched on a light pole or a black-tailed kite hovering over a field, when I've felt, "Yes, this IS the day the Lord has made," and felt centered.
So I will consider whether this inadvertent experience of Lent is something I ought to take deeper. No promises!