Day 357: Drive and Driver, Further Exploration
Living as I do at present right next to the traffic, overlooking a roundabout, I am constantly aware of people in their individual moments passing by each other, drivers with an eye on the cars around them, and an eye on their destination, passengers with an eye on something else beside, pedestrians looking over their shoulders for the bus, or looking at their phones, people waiting to cross the road, these multiplicities of individual moments passing by each other. And I have tried to capture this on camera, like for example underneath a busy bridge where trains go over and traffic hurries through and pushchairs are negotiated around the narrow corners of a pavement, good spot to somehow get an image of these moments.
And yet, the camera shows me constantly how little of my perception of these things is actually factual in a physical visual way: although I see the driver’s face behind the reflections on the windscreen, busy with the traffic lights and the turning of the wheel, and the mother’s face intent on keeping baby safe within the fragile push chair, and the baby fast asleep with mouth wide open, and the gaggle of children that are following along behind her, precariously on the granite kerb, tucking into plastic bags of sweets, and looking all around at everything, and the faces in the traffic all around, waiting, queuing up to go, or a person jay walking between the cars, while pigeons looking from their perches on the bridge at all of it with their astonished stares; all the people in their private moments, while all of it takes place within a single wider moment, seemingly suitable for the blink of a shutter. And yet the widest angle lens can’t record such things, so much of it exists within my mind as scraps of memory joined together in a montage: but even so, I still take the camera with me in case of some lucky accidental shot of traffic moments such as this that might capture it in any obvious way. What would be the value of conveying such a thing through a single image of the camera? It stands for in my mind like a documentary evidence of the irony that that is right in front of us in this everyday survival busyness that all of us together separately, is caught up in.
Who am I as being a driver within this traffic, behind the windscreen of another car? In what sense am I really in fact the driver of this car, when in fact when I look at it I see that what is driving this machine is not me at all directly but the sequences of controlled explosions of the petrol; I have accepted the extension of the word Drive and into Driver along with the rest of my culture, where being responsible for controlling this machine has become confused with what it is that actually drives it. This may seem kind of nitpicky, and inconsequential, and yet it is interesting how reflective it is of how with coping with my own vehicle, that I have seen how I have claimed to be the Driver when in fact within this I have deliberately overlooked that I have accepted and allowed myself to be driven by the energies that arise in me, and that within that acceptance that I have also overlooked the origins of that energy itself that is being refined from out of the very physical substance of my body, and so, of the Earth. Making such distinctions in myself and in my life is actually critical, and how the blurring of such distinctions manifests into the consequence of the tumult of the world in which we live is also critical, because I have seen for myself how in the tumult of my life I have been driven by these energies that I have accepted in an as-if way of who I am, when actually in fact the drive has been a drive of fear, and that within that I have stood by within quietly giving my permission for this drive to exist.
… continuing next post …
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