On the half hour drive home from Will’s school yesterday, I asked him how long he thought it would be until there was a drone-like service that would pick kids up at their house and take them to school. Not through the cow path streets of our town but as the crow flies. A direct arc from house to school. Will estimates it will happen within his lifetime: 50 years. Maybe Jetson travel will be fully realized by then. This made me think of other arcs that would be useful. A simple shot of energy that would launch me from one spot to another – in a clean, clear, linear fashion.
I rode an arc this when I got home from Iowa Tuesday and walked into the house. Normally, I bounce like a pinball between tasks in my house. Within the first ten minutes of walking in the door, I had thrown out a dead plant, watered the live plants, emptied a vase of expired tulips, and arranged a bouquet of flowers from the three beautiful bunches Will and Liam had picked out for me for Mother’s Day. Not bad. I had been mindful of all things in the plant world for approximately 20 minutes.
Then the spring-loaded rod on the pinball machine let loose. The fridge needed to be cleaned. A pile of laundry needed to be thrown in. Sheets needed to be folded. And, would I ever write a Hump Day Short on a Tuesday again in anticipation of sending it on the actual Hump Day?
Late Tuesday afternoon, I dropped Liam off at his baseball game 45 minutes early for practice then went back home to work for 20 minutes on Boy Scout paperwork. I dropped paperwork off at the Scout Master’s for signature and drove on to the game. I set my alarm so I would remember to leave in 45 minutes to take Will and another boy to scouts. With that alarm set, I thought that all I needed to do was sit and watch baseball until that alarm went off.
However, the temptation to pull out my cell phone and stray my attention away from the ballpark – to answer one more email, send off a confirmation carpool text, pay a bill – was fierce. I repeated this mantra, “I am sitting here watching a baseball game.” With mind tease after mind tease, I repeated that sentence.
Wouldn’t it be helpful to have an arc from my butt to my brain with that direct input? If only my butt had control instead of my brain. For wherever it is, there I am. Now that is mindfulness. Or would that be buttfulness?
I write this with my pants zipper down. Despite multiple attempts after I got dressed, I could not create a neat, concise arc from my closet to the junk drawer for a safety pin to anchor the malfunctioning zipper. Still, the lunches were made, the kids were delivered, and the writer is writing.