LESSONS FROM THE ROAD
This picture came up in my sister’s Facebook page and seeing it took me back to a couple major life lessons that I learned from the road.
The image is of me, (center with the pink ensemble and bad bang job), my sisters, my cousins (all in blue matching outfits) and a boy named Peter who was our summertime brother. We had all been shipped to our great aunt’s house who was very serious about exposing us kids to cultural events. Because of this, we spent many hours packed into a station wagon, weaving through traffic as she shuttled us from one museum to the next.
One day in the thick of traffic our packed station wagon sat at a standstill for what felt like an eternity. The world around our car seemed so loud and I was craving silence. I covered my ears and hide my head but I could not escape the deep groaning hum of the trucks that hugged up against our car like stinky metal giants. Then there was the pesky and pokey car horns and the blaring music, mixed in with the chirpy and chattery conversations of my fellow travelers.
In the middle of this agitating orchestra, I got a brilliant idea. “The world is so loud,” I thought, “I am sure its loud enough for me to scream all the curse words that I know at the top of my lungs without anyone hearing.”
I had never screamed all the curse words that I knew out loud… I am not even sure if I had ever even whispered them. This idea was exciting to me. After a little contemplation and deciding on which words I would say, I convinced myself that this expletive experiment needed to happen and that this car ride was offering me a rare opportunity that should not be missed. When would I ever get the chance to say bad words out loud and in public again?
So I took a deep breath and let loose a well-gassed train of bad words… I said all of them… and a few I repeated for good measure. Mid-rant I realized that my hypothesis, that no one would hear me… was not actually correct. I watched my sisters and cousins and Peter all turn to look at me like they were watching an exorcism. I closed my mouth and sat in the silence of their shock. My one sister Maggie managed to whisper one incredulous word… “Maureen?!”
From the corner of my eye, I saw my two aunts crane their heads in disbelief from the front seat. No one said anything, they just stared in wonder and awe and I breathed in a deep breath of silence… just what I had been craving.
From this sweaty backseat blasphemy, I learned a few important things…
- Sometimes if you don’t get the silence your soul is craving you can start believing some crazy ideas.
- No matter how soundproof your idea is… you should always check things out with a friend.
- Peace is a goal that can be reached in some very unorthodox ways.
If you are feeling trapped in a loud and crazy world, join us at SpeakEasy, love is our religion, care is our currency and PEACE is our goal. In the meantime, leave me a note and let me know about your bumpy rides, or most cultural experience. I want to hear all about it.
Maureen Muldoon is a writer, published playwright and author who spent twenty years working in Hollywood as an actress, writer, and director. She is the author of Giant Love Song, The Spiritual Vixen’s Guide to an Unapologetic Life, and the children’s book, The Life Of A Sand Castle, all available on Amazon. Her plays, Booby Trap The Very Breast Show In Town and Trans-Parent Love have been produced in Los Angeles and Chicago. Her poetry, personal essay, fiction, and creative nonfiction have appeared in The Good Men Project, The Sun, Story Lab, Lit Up, Booby Trap, Story, Actors Access, Voice Box, and Risk. She is a sought-after speaker and teacher and the founder of Voice Box stories, a platform to support storytelling and storytellers. Maureen is also the founder of SpeakEasy Spiritual Community. SpeakEasy is an organization focused on empowering people to live their most authentic and audacious lives through the use of spiritual truths and creativity. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and children.