Riding Metro North. And dragging it around.

train-station-light

Who are we, really? Who is dragging this body around.” (Zen Koan)

4:55 am.
Just another Hump Day in August, but less torrid, and pleasant, really.

It’s a short walk to the station. The digital counter on the wrist flashes Step # 63, a reminder of the failure to reach 6500 steps by last day’s end.

A Lady, in her early 30’s, hair still damp, rushes onto the crowded train car, steps over the gap, looks down the aisle, lets out a sigh. She sets down her bag and stands. You watch. She stands. And stands. And stands. This weekend you opened the mailbox to find junk mail inviting you to join the AARP, and flung it with disgust into the recycling bin. Hey, at least she wasn’t pregnant.

The 7:30 morning meeting is cancelled, 15 minutes before start time. The same meeting requiring you to catch the first train. You launch an e-missile punctuating the finish with an exclamation mark.  Shrapnel hits the target — its impact boomerangs in a Return To Sender. Necessary?

You interrupt another mid sentence, again and again, to steer the discussion and to drive the pace. What is it that is so unsettling that flows in your blood?

You drop your head to check your device, over and over, and over, the lack of interest signaling matters are more important elsewhere. More important elsewhere, than here, right here, right now.

You are unable to articulate a clear way forward in a senior call. You bumble along but get to the finish. String it together Friend, one word in front of the other.

You shade the truth, with no energy to conduct the gentle handling that’s required. It needs to be positioned oh, just so, but you have no time, no energy, no Mas.  “Let’s catch up another time when we can go deeper.” They see it, disappointed. Mr. Black and White’s side-step.  The effusiveThat was Great! didn’t show up. And the far more likely, ‘Did you think of doing it this way?’ did not show up either. Instead a flaccid punt, that rolled off the field 30 yards from the goal line.

You pass on a early evening invitation to have a drink with the team to debrief on the day’s meetings – a long, but a good day. They know the answer, they have heard before, hoping today the response will be different.  No, thanks. Another time. The introvert desperately seeks his exit, preferring the company of self, a slow walk to Grand Central and a quiet train car.

And here you find yourself sitting in the quiet car, alone, on the ride home. Chewing this cud, regurgitating it (puking it up), and chewing it again. The maybe could haves. The maybe should haves. The maybe shouldn’t haves. The what if’s.

And then it comes.

A ray of light from the late afternoon sun beams through the window.  A message.  A gentle, graceful nudge as the train car rocks forward whispering forward Dave, forward. 


Inspired by:

“In general, people are not drawn to perfection in others. People are drawn to shared interests, shared problems, and an individual’s life energy. Humans connect with humans. Hiding one’s humanity and trying to project an image of perfection makes a person vague, slippery, lifeless, and uninteresting.”

~ By Robert Glover, No More Mr. Nice Guy: A Proven Plan for Getting What You Want in Love, Sex, and Life


Notes:

Comments

  1. Forgiveness v. Self-flagellation? I’m glad you chose the former…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “Hiding one’s humanity and trying to project an image of perfection makes a person vague, slippery, lifeless, and uninteresting.” That is so true! That’s why your Blog is so fascinating David, and why you are such a model leader.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Everyone “jokingly” says “Lisa really doesn’t like people.” I love people, just not the shallow chatter and the competitive nature of social settings…what to wear, what to say, who’s raising the most money for their agency, whose child has achieved the most. Now give me a few minutes to chat with a client with mental illness I happen to run into and she asks for shoes which leads to me buying them and learning she has a daughter my age…those encounters are precious. I love people quietly. I long for aloneness, it’s a must for me. I won’t interact falsely or without kindness, but I prefer not to interact to excess just for the sake of social.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “hiding one’s humanity” ? I never learned how to do that. And for that, I guess I should be grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sounds like a frustrating day.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Perhaps, some of your success is in your ability to travel in both worlds…an ‘Ambivert,’ no?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What this brings up for me: I really miss random/chance encounters before the days of distracting cellphones. I still am shocked to pass another on a somewhat deserted road and they don’t look up to connect. Oh, well.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. May that gentle graceful nudge never leave you.

    I’m definitely printing this to write my notes down, in red ink!
    Appreciate your transparency.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think we need these days to balance our understanding of life. “A power failure makes us aware of what a gift electricity is; a sprained ankle lets us appreciate walking as a gift, a sleepless night, sleep.” https://davidkanigan.com/2016/07/31/day-and-night-gifts-keep-pelting-down-on-us/
    A bad day makes us appreciate the warm sun rays beaming through a window. Wonderful message and thoughts Dave. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hey fellow introvert, I know you love this poet but have you read “the Art of Disappearing” by Naomi Shihab Nye, perfect for this feeling!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Mimi. Thanks for sharing. Do love Naomi’s work but never heard of this poem. Thanks so much for pointing me to it. Amazing. Thank you.

      The Art of Disappearing” by Naomi Shihab Nye

      When they say Don’t I know you?
      say no.

      When they invite you to the party
      remember what parties are like
      before answering.
      Someone telling you in a loud voice
      they once wrote a poem.
      Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
      Then reply.

      If they say We should get together
      say why?

      It’s not that you don’t love them anymore.
      You’re trying to remember something
      too important to forget.
      Trees. The monastery bell at twilight.
      Tell them you have a new project.
      It will never be finished.

      When someone recognizes you in a grocery store
      nod briefly and become a cabbage.
      When someone you haven’t seen in ten years
      appears at the door,
      don’t start singing him all your new songs.
      You will never catch up.

      Walk around feeling like a leaf.
      Know you could tumble any second.
      Then decide what to do with your time.

      ~ Naomi Shihab Nye

      Liked by 2 people

  11. i have a very hard time hiding my humanity, and i love people, but i am also an introvert. people are complicated and they are very simple at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Love it when you share from the heart!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What I’ve noticed is that *push* when your have off days. The RPMs spin faster, driving you to eat up more of the road, but always late to wherever you were going. Or thought you were going.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh, far too familiar. I’d fume every time our regular morning meeting was canceled just when I got there. And sometimes it would stick with me the whole day. Happy your day ended well yesterday. Progress.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Introvert? You? Well…that explains a little bit.

    Liked by 1 person

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