I am in San Diego; here for a few days to visit friends before driving back to the Bay Area. It has been 20 years since I drove on the LA freeways. We left Santa Barbara after breakfast at the monastery and arrived here around 2:30, taking time out for lunch in Newport Beach, but aside from the lunch, the time between was a meditation on something, and I am not really sure what.
Driving through LA has to be linked with the worse of the 20th century: fast cars, smog, the threat of road rage, people in Humvee’s – I hope I spelled that right – cutting across lanes like mad marines in some near-eastern country. It was absolutely exhausting and I ended up with a feeling of being completely drained: the image that comes is from years ago when I was working in a 28 day rehabilitation house for people coming off abusing substances. There was a deep craziness on that road, a kind of narcotic of speed, change, danger and the always out there promise of progress. It was lucky that we were in the carpool lane much of the time, which meant we could only be in danger from cars to our right – discounting the lesser threat of the oncoming traffic in 4 to 8 lanes coming in the opposite direction across the barrier to our left. It was a high pitched insanity that left me feeling depleted in the same way as when I was helping some speed freak try to figure out what reality might look like after too much time in psychosis-ville. Next time I will try the train.
Tomorrow we start the drive north, but as it is Super-Bowl Sunday, one of the biggest religious festivals on the continent, traffic will be much easier! Thanks be to God!