Tuesday, October 6, 2009


We all take it for granted that we can move our carcasses and gear easily from one spot to another. It's a given. Me too. Yeah.

That is until last Friday morning, at 6,250 feet above sea level, in a valley with one tiny town whose mechanic doesn't work from October to June. That is until last Friday morning when I tried starting my truck and it answered my keyed pleas with a "Nothin doing. No way. Forget it." Being a patient (;^/) person, I tried again, and again, and again. Same answers.

Next step. Dialed roadside assist. Okay, tow-truck would be sent. From the town seven miles away? NO! From a town 130 miles away...minimally three hour trek on twisted mountain road. Okay, that would have to do. Luckily I had no appointment with my massage therapist or hair stylist. Luckily, I didn't have to work. Luckily, there was no snow on the roads...yet.

So, what does one do with three hours of captivity? I was lucky. I was in a gorgeous log cabin in a serene, sunny spot pivoting on the spiky grandeur of the Sawtooth Mountains. Yellow disks of aspen were wiggling against a curtain of dark green pines. An enormous, elaborate rock goddess soared above trees, stretching into a vast screen of cornflower blue. Juncos dolled up in their tuxedos of charcoal with white zipped up, down, in, out, and around. Their chips of conversation were perky and fun. What could be amiss here? I was warm. I was safe. I was surrounded by stunning vistas. I had food, water, a bathroom, a sunny couch, a spot for my dog and me to nap. Why complain?

I knitted. I read. I walked around. I soaked in the views. I visited with neighbors. I played with the dog. I phoned folks and said "Aren't I lucky, stranded on this sunny day in the mountains?"

But my elation was veneer. I was trapped and I knew it. A mink in steel jaws, I couldn't jimmy myself from this spot. Couldn't twist or turn out into the wide-open spaces of self-determination. Strange feeling.

I could hear my heart beating. I could feel and taste and smell my heart beating. "Let me go! Let me go! I want out!" So odd. Took deep, deep breaths, did a super downward dog, even tried tree position. Read poetry. Whistled. Nothing worked. Couldn't unwind the tense wrap of immobility.

It made me think a lot about elders who don't drive anymore. How suffocating it must be. "Just want to go to the store to get some Jello. No big deal. Just get in the Plymouth, start er up, go a few blocks, and get my Jello. Oh, wait. I can't drive. I don't have a car anymore." Immobile. Stranded. Marooned. Left aground. Isolated. Stuck.

When I finally spied the tow truck, a startling construct of testosterone and metal, I cheered! Got so delirious I abandoned my L L Bean coat, treasured for a decade, and took off down the road. I was no longer stranded! Even in Eden a person could be stuck. Even in a gorgeous sunny cabin in the Sawtooths, a gal could be hemmed in. I was outta there. Thank goodness. I was being towed down the road, a happy, happy girl on the move.


  1. I love "the tow truck, a startling construct of testosterone and metal"


  2. I absolutely understand the trapped feeling you have described here. Nicely done.

  3. It is hard to imagine a better place to be trapped.