I have a suspicion that most people who practice mindfulness, or living in the present, don’t drive jalopies. If they did drive a rust-bucket that at any moment could disintegrate and/or implode, they would already be masters at living in the present and could proceed to practicing other stuff. Their bodies would be finely tuned instruments, with hands sensitive to the slightest vibrations (specifically those in the steering wheel), ears perked (listening for the frayed serpentine belt to snap), nostrils flared (to detect even the faintest whiff of burnt oil), and tongues hanging out (to cool what the air conditioner couldn’t).
Furthermore, I can’t remember the last time I saw someone doing yoga or meditating at a junkyard. People who pull their own parts already know how to contort their bodies to relieve stress, namely the stress of getting their cars back running. Early in our marriage, my wife and I got a yoga DVD and did yoga together once or twice to help me quit worrying. Admittedly, I could “worry a copperhead out of a copper cent.” That’s a common saying around these parts because we have lots of copperheads (plus lots of people with mere pennies, hence the worry). But the main thing I learned from doing yoga is warrior pose is nothing compared to “remove-the-water-pump pose.”
The older I get, the more I find junkyards and scrapyards and even landfills to be oddly serene places. Wandering around a scrapyard looking for the perfect pieces of metal to weld together is a fine way to spend an afternoon. Watching giant bulldozers sail by at the landfill, with seagulls diving overhead and earth trembling underneath, could be as romantic as watching boats come and go in a marina, if only someone would put a bench at the dump site.
And junkyards are great places for quiet reflection. Just last week, I visited our local U-Pull It and did some soul searching. A few days prior, I had experienced a moment of complete presentness when my 1996 Chrysler Sebring lost power going seventy miles per hour down the interstate. Because this phenomenon had happened before on less traveled thoroughfares, I knew nothing was wrong with the car mechanically–just that stupid sensor, the crankshaft sensor, had gone haywire again and decided to power down the vehicle with tractor trailers at warp speed all around me. I’m proud to report I kept my composure. I focused thoroughly on the present and piloted the Sebring safely to the roadside, only stopping to hyperventilate after the handbrake was engaged.
So, a few days later I went to the junkyard hoping to pull a crankshaft sensor and ended up selling my Sebring for scrap. Having mastered mindfulness, it was time to practice letting go and moving on, specifically to a 2008 Toyota Camry with only 150,000 miles.
14 thoughts on “How to Achieve Complete Mindfulness and Live to Tell About It”
My husband is the same way. He loves to buy junk at the scrapyard. I just want him to get rid of some of the junk before he brings more home. It must be a guy thing.
There used to be a show called Junkyard wars where people would have to build stuff out of things they found it the junkyard. It was one of my favorites but apparently it lacked a wider appeal.
I feel your pain. I have had to say, “No, you can’t bring ____ in until you get rid of the ____.” (I’ve filled in the blanks several times).
Hope you love the Camry!
Like it so far. It hasn’t broken down yet so that is a plus. I was just looking for something reliable and it’s hard to beat a Toyota.
I owned a Scion for year, and it was always reliable until it finally started hesitating while merging onto highways. Granted, I understood–I prefer back roads myself–but that’s when we traded it in. I can’t remember how many miles it had on it, but it was right up there.
HA, good one! There’s an old Czech joke: A guy walks into a junk yard and says to the owner: “How about a gas cap for a Skoda?” The owner replies: “That sounds like a good deal.” 🙂
That’s a good one–can’t say that I’ve ever seen a Skoda in real life, but have heard a lot of Skoda jokes.
I loved this, and laughed a lot, too. My better half does a lot of junkyard zen. I’m the one who does yoga.
Junkyard zen, sounds like a good title for a book.
What are you waiting for? Start writing!!! 🙂
I used to love going to the dump with my dad when I was little. Those were some good times!
That’s funny. I remember going to the landfill too when I was little–it seemed even bigger back then–I guess because I was so small.
To an old Yankee like me, this good-humored meditation on Jalopy Zen and Junkyard Zen brings to mind the famous Kennebunkport Dump and the hilarious ways it was celebrated, up to around 25 years ago: