Sunday, 3:11am – Shut Up and Drive

In the wee hours this morning I was reflecting on a conversation with a friend when I blurted out “Shut up and Drive”. It wasn’t intended to be offensive. I wasn’t even intending to say it. I thought the quote “Shut up and Drive” was from the movie ‘Thelma and Louise’. It isn’t. It’s the title of two very, very, very different songs, neither of which I ever remember hearing. I feel like somehow we are each being sandpapered and polished to do *great works* that only we can do. And only we can each do them. I don’t like that thought and yet, at the same time on some level, I feel like its time. And it’s right.

It sounds incredibly big-headed, too big for my britches and some part of me just wants to shrink over to the corner and vanish into the wallboard instead of doing *this thing*, whatever it is. There are times that I feel that Marianne Williamson quote (about being frightened of our own light, our own brilliance) taunting me, chasing me down the street, pointing and laughing. I don’t like it at all and I’d just as soon go iron a shirt, clean a toilet, or something incredibly, routinely and safely, mundane.

And yet…

One Sunday morning some years ago, I spoke at a Spiritualist Church in Houston. A friend had asked me to speak on the Harmonic Concordance and I said, “Sure, why not?” I didn’t even know what it was, but I figured I could pull stuff together. I had taught 7th grade earth science for two years, I could certainly do this. So I started reading and studying and thinking and gathering information and nothing, absolutely nothing would come together. There was no flow, no form, and no sense. As the date got closer, I intensified my striving. Finally the weekend of the talk rolled around and I still had nothing but jumbled words and I was beginning to really sweat over it. The night before the Sunday morning talk, I had only the barest hint of anything and I felt like it was garbage. The morning of the talk, I cobbled together some things, disjointed but adequate and I went and did the talk. I was only relieved when it was over.

And then, being a Spiritualist Church (a completely unknown commodity to me), the host, my friend, asked if anyone had received any messages for anyone else. Several people stood and delivered messages. I became fascinated, completely curious, about what I was observing. Then this diminutive man in this three-piece brown polyester double-knit suit stood up with a message for me, the speaker. So i stood up, as I had seen others do and he said something to the effect of, “You had three angels standing with you when you spoke; the biggest guardian angel I have ever seen, a scruffy drunk Irishman angel and a little blue haired fairy angel. The Irishman angel was shaking his head sadly and said something like, ‘she’s never going to just trust and speak, that she will always have the words she needs.'” I sat down dumbfounded and wrote his words down precisely. I still have the feeling in my body. Holy cow. I heard that challenge, and responded. Never again did I massively prepare a talk – even technical ones. I’d do the charts and graphs and the ubiquitous Powerpoint slides, so I could show people what I had seen, but I never, ever wrote another talk. And it has always worked.

Two owls are hooting outside with each other at this moment. The cadence: one-and-two, three four … who are you not to be? As soon as I write these words, they stop talking to me. This feels like a similar challenge and I don’t know presently where it is headed. With a knot in my stomach, I say ‘yes’.

You?

— Janis

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