This blog is welcome to anyone and everyone, regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. Unless you don't like writing short stories or smelling bear. Or if you voted for the other guy. Also, I don't really like it when you leave up the toilet seat, so could you stop doing that? Muchas, muchas gracias.

Friday, August 28, 2009

To the woman who almost killed me tonight

In a garden neighborhood in this small quiet town, on a warm night full of bikes and pedestrians, I was riding home on my bike, listening to my chain squeak and feeling sorry for myself.

Woman, when you barreled through that stop sign I figured you were on drugs or something because stop sign or no, you were going too fast. You did screech to a stop just in time, and I am so grateful. Your window was open, and I turned around and pulled up beside you. Though I rarely get angry at people (I get angry at things, like printers and staplers and doors) I wanted to lecture you about whatever it was that had made you so careless. But there you were with your gray hair, you in your big, loose clothing, someone's grandmother or sister. So I started in about the phone attached to your ear. "It's not on," you said, and you told me that your mind was racing with worry and you weren't paying attention. I know how that is.

Speeding woman in your lumpy dress, we have to let it go because whatever it is, it's not worth the guilt I know you would feel for the rest of your life if you'd hit me. "Well, be careful," I said, and you thanked me. Why did you thank me?

Woman, I have so much more to do before I die, yet my biggest struggle right now is starting this new chapter, and acknowledging that it is new. We don't just wake into the next thing, we transition, slowly, not in a morning but over a long block of years. And this is a very short life. You almost sped up that process for me, almost knocked me into something brand new, and now I see that there's grace in the slowness.

I hope that whoever yelled at you at work or cut in front of you in line or asked you to bake cookies for tomorrow's picnic is out of your head now, and forever.


Blogger ginab said...

wow. and i write small to slow down the pace, as opposed to assuming there's carefulness in capitalizing when I should and punctuating (well, I will do that). I've raised my i's just as I tip my hat to you here.

I won't say what I would have done to her as that rails against the very sane and keen wisdom you gracefully alert everyone to venture here about. a terrible sentence from me, but there's more and better yet to come. xo

8:36 PM

Blogger ing said...

I raise my I's because I am Ingrid! ; )

You know, I don't come to these conclusions unless I write about my experiences - I write TO them, but I wish they'd just occur to me, right when I need them to.

But there. I have to appreciate the slowness with which we change and do the work that real change requires.

9:49 PM

Blogger ginab said...

now though you have this lovely piece to refer to for yourself and you, yourself, Ingrid, need a little assurance that change moves gradually on a grand scale.

9:16 PM

Blogger sage said...

Good to see you back! Aglad your safe and sound after your experience.

I finally got a copy of "A Natural History of Western Trees." Too bad he didn't get to finish the project that included all the trees in the US

8:30 AM

Blogger Ren said...


8:50 PM

Blogger josh williams said...

ginab better move over because when it comes to destroying the English language I have (humble opinion) no peer.
Very pleased you were not killed.
Very pleased to see I am still on your links...Sabbaticals can be very alienating in some thing and stuff.
More later. Peace JW

8:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

gulp, you are a greater person than I Ing...and you rock for it!

12:56 AM

Blogger ing said...

Oh, this doesn't stem from greatness - it stems from me being too shocked to react right away.

Hi, everyone! I'm writing plays now, but I hope that soon I'll have more time to blog again. I just don't want anything else to distract me & I've been working working working full time (not for long, though!).

2:40 AM


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