Tag Archives: DiagonalParking

I’m Still Learning About My Internal Queue

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Coffee Queue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m realizing that as I write and blog my tiny stories through this process called Life, I have a queue of lifelong infatuations in my head and heart.

I’m crushing on: lichens, moss, barnacles, Spanish moss, flamingos, wisteria, colorfully painted small towns with diagonal parking, ghost towns, ruins, desolation, diners, cafes, coffeehouses, little white churches, Route 66, antique buttons/beads/lace, and yoga.

 

Yogini

Such disparate passions. How do they all connect?

I thought I might learn by blundering my way through a blog. But, after nearly a year, I still have no idea.

And, yet, I do maintain this one stubborn fantasy: Stitching this seemingly unrelated queue together in the form of vignettes and poems, under the rubric of Diagonal Parking.

So, perhaps another year of clumsy musings and awkward rambling will bring a clearer vision of how I want to write down the bones and form the skeleton of my creative fancy.

Meanwhile, close on its heels is another reverie.

I’d ideally like to take a road trip of indefinite length, and spend time in the indulgence of small towns, explore ghost towns and ruins, ride the asphalt of the Mother Road over and over, dine in cafes, park diagonally, hike and meditate among the lichen/moss-splattered rocks, drive the “loneliest road in Nevada” and let desolation sink deeper into my soul, maybe even squawk with a flock of flamingos and dance the Fandango draped in Spanish moss beneath meandering vines of purple wisteria. And whenever I reach water with a pier, sit with the barnacles and study their formations.

At the moment, I have not a clue how to realize this two-part dream. But, I’m going to set up a matrix and release it. And see what unfolds.

And, if nothing does .  .  . well .  .  . I can always get behind the counter, gaze at the black-and-white checkered flooring, and serve the world its mocha java with a steaming smile.

Or, perhaps, do what I do best: sashay down the sidewalk of Main Street, braid myself into a yoga pose, and observe the world passing by .  . . meditating on all the contradictions and eccentricities it and I contain, while invisibly grinning at my self as I persistently search for the Truth, which I keep swearing to God exists and is accessible.

If only inside a rainbow queue of coffee cups.

Diagonal Parking and Thoughts on Angled Life in General

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Small-town America

One of my greatest fascinations in life is: Diagonal Parking.

On first read, this may sound strange, perhaps silly.

I wouldn’t be surprised if it prompted the question: Why? Why would someone even notice this trivial tidbit of life that’s fading in glory?

Well, I’m exploring this idiosyncrasy of mine.

My fascination with diagonal parking is related to my general fascination with things askew

awry

oblique.

Diagonal parking is like arrows.

A slanted entrance. Taut but angled. Straight, but not directly head-on straight, placing one face-to-face with arrivals.

Diagonal is just a softer approach to life.

Emily Dickenson’s “certain slant of light,” is afternoon light: quiet, meditative, less egotistical, gentle, buttery, relaxing, soothing, melancholic in a seductive way. The antithesis of bright, harsh, direct, fluorescent, noontime, peak-of-your-life light.

Slanted is reflective, past the prime-of-life, the achievement/accolade piston-driven ego phase. It’s an easy slip into the slot, and, an easy exit.

Gliding back into the pocket of traffic/life. A gentle, smooth shuttle. Like weaving cloth in rhythmic, repetitive patterns. Steady, non-confrontational, active yet peaceful enough to be simultaneously contemplative.

It’s an evaporation of ego and its cold, hard drive shaft.

No fancy performance artistry of blocking traffic and creating an audience, while one navigates a vehicle into a parallel parking spot as competently and quickly as possible.

No embarrassment if the parking dance has ragged edges…diagonal is not a test of agility. It’s designed to be efficient

sleek

unnoticed

un-noteworthy.

Parallel is a test of skill and it earns commentary from the minds in the waiting vehicles. Main street in american town

I don’t recall diagonal parking in my childhood home towns. Or during college years in New York City. Or post-college in southern France or Los Angeles.

I think that I encountered it on road trips – family summer vacations and my own journeys – but I can’t name the original source.

Somewhere along the path of life it became a symbol of small towns. Of little towns with coffee shops for casual gathering. Of life itself: living without a spotlight, without performance anxiety or ego competition.

A place in which to exhale. To sigh and live slower. A place energetic, productive, dynamic, creative, but, minus the pressures of fame and fortune.

To me, diagonal movement is as slinky as fabric. Like banners shifting in the breeze. Natural. Fluid.

A place in which to slip in and out of as sleekly as a cat.

No fancy underground parking or vertically, spiraling parking garages.

No parallel performances.

No caged lots with meter men and punch button tickets to be placed on the dashboard.

No skinny alleys to maneuver with a line of other cars fighting, as in musical chairs, for the remaining few resting spots.

Parallel means side-by-side. In the race next to the rival, ready to bolt ahead and win the prize.

Whereas in diagonal parking, the curb is the competition. Along with the sidewalk hosting passersby and store fronts.

Your vehicle is aligned with other slanted runners. All, somehow, battling a race against pedestrians and consumers. A race of stillness; of frozen desire.

Parallel is confining – being trapped in a boxcar queue waiting to be hitched.

While diagonal has freedom and independence and spaciousness. It’s aerodynamic and less claustrophobic – a primary fear of mine.

Diagonal feels like coming in for a landing. The sidewalk a tarmac; the stores the terminal.

Parallel feels like passing by; stuck-in-front-of; shady peripheral vision.

In culinary terms, diagonal is the finest slice of meat.

In daily life, it’s the angle I love to live through.

Something like 45 degrees with low density makes me feel crazily comfortable in my skin.