to my uber drivers

I don’t drive.  I’ve never driven.

It’s a long story, but then everything is a long story with me because everything I’ve ever experienced all ties together.

My life is a series of knots and tangles, a thousand colored threads.   There might be a tapestry on the other side– a delight of image and craft– but I would never know.  From my side, triumph and disaster look very much the same.  From my perspective, the story is in the tangles and knots, and multitudes.

There might be a big picture, but if you ask me a question– you’ll hear about the little one.  Little stories are threads that tangle into other little stories, they knot, and braid, and continue on.  They are long stories.

I don’t know how to shorten them.
I don’t how to drive.

I don’t know why I’d tell you one story, or another. I can’t explain why I would tell you about the way my father pronounces his words, and not tell you that I served 438 days in prison. I can’t explain why I’d tell you that I went to prison, and not mention that I lost my husband when I was there. I can’t explain why I’d talk to you as if Dave was still alive, or as if Dave was never alive to me. I really don’t know why I’d tell you about my job as if I never ran my own business, or tell you about my business as if I hadn’t worked for The Man in the Purple Tie for six years.

I wonder how many of you come here, after, and are shocked to learn more of the story, to pick up more threads. These threads are important because they build the image on the front of the tapestry, but I don’t see that side. I only see this side and a gold thread or a red thread is nearly the same as all the beige and grey ones that I weave into the fabric.

I was charged with 247 felonies in 2014, though I pleaded to just 2% of them. I used to drink 2% milk until I stopped drinking milk altogether in 2007. Two months ago, I lost my hair-virginity to a man named Richard who put highlights in, and put me at ease. I told him we would put baby powder in our hair, in prison, and he commended the choice, saying it works as a form of dry shampoo. I first learned of dry shampoo in a forum where I used to work, collecting quotes. My specialty was civil rights quotations. I believe in– and vote for, and donate to, and work towards– human rights. All humans, regardless of parentage or sexuality or dress or birth gender or name or religion or legal history or bathroom sign preference. Normally that’s not something I would make a fuss on, or explain so clearly– but now is a time for clarification.

People are scared in their skin, in their faith, in their love, in their homes– because having those things has made them targets of hate.

So let me be clear. YOU are welcome in my world. I recognize your brilliance as a beautiful thread, your uniqueness as a beautiful color. You add to my tapestry, you are built into my stories, and you are part of the beautiful future I envision.

If you are scared, please don’t be.
Those of us who love you, we are more.
We can do more. We can do better.

And we will.

If you are angry, or lost, or anything else– that’s okay, too. More than okay, it’s important. There’s momentum in the big emotions and we can use that to put feet on hope, to put wings on love– to mobilize the army of Goodness.

Two days ago, I donated. Find a cause that supports humanity, and do the same if you can. Even if it’s a small amount. Yesterday, I wrote thank you notes to organizations who have gone above and beyond. If one caught your attention, I suggest you do the same.

Today, I am making it clear that all people are welcome here– and their truths are safe here. All people, and all blogging bears, blogging fish, blogging ducks…

There’s feet on my Hope, and they’re running toward a better future.

But I don’t run.
I don’t even drive.

I never learned, because I was busy learning other things. I was busy collecting threads and watching them tangle themselves readily into my knots. I was so busy on the backside of the tapestry, I have no idea what it actually looks like, so I can’t tell you the big picture, or the short version– and sometimes, I leave important parts out.

Everything is a long story.
Every Uber driver wants to know why I don’t drive.

I don’t know that I’ve ever given a straight-forward answer. My life isn’t straight-forward– it’s a series of knots and tangles, a thousand colored threads. Sometimes, I go in circles. Sometimes, I go backwards. Sometimes, I spin.

Every Uber driver wants to know if they should follow the map, or if I know a better way.

Follow the map, my new friend.
One of us should.

39 thoughts on “to my uber drivers

  1. In case you wanted to know, the knots and tangles ARE the tapestry that we caress with our eyes, every time you write-weave another segment of it … on a Weird Wednesday, I needed your grounding threads. Thank you as always …

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I did learn to drive, I even (kinda) learned how to drive stick, back when I was still in highschool. My then boyfriend/ now husband taught me. I even drove some during our 2 month cross country trip that we took the summer after I graduated highschool. That was probably highly illegal though because I’ve never had my license, but how was I, an 18 year old fresh out of highschool who had never been out of New England, supposed to know that not all states have the same laws for people who are learning how to drive? I had an interest in learning to drive and eventually getting my license, and then immediately before our cross country trip my mom, sister, and brother were in a serious car accident involving an empty cement truck. My mom and brother are lucky to be alive. We actually decided to go on the cross country trip after the accident. My mom was still recovering in a rehab center when I first brought it up and she told me you’re only going to be young once and to go ahead and do it. My mom was recovering at home when we left. The accident and the aftermath still hadn’t quite been absorbed by me. But after the trip was over I slowly had less and less desire to drive, and now fast forward about 15 or so years later, my husband and I no longer even own a car, although my husband still has a driver’s licence. We mainly don’t own a car because we can’t afford one, but also because it’s better for the environment if we walk wherever we need to go if possible. Having moved literally right across the road from where my husband works has made not owning a car much easier as well. I won’t say that I’m not tempted to buy a car again, but even if we did, I probably still wouldn’t get my license. My answer to “why don’t you drive?” is also obviously a long and complicated one, and I’m not even sure that I’ve covered all the reasons here, but my short answer is usually “Because I don’t want to.”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I really like this. What we see in people is only ever the surface, we never see the entire tapestry of threads that went into making them the person they are today. Well written (as always) and thank you for sharing with us. You have such a wonderful energy and I am glad their are people like you sharing that energy with those of us who need it. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. We only ever see the tangle of threads as we view life on the underside of the Tapestry of Life, but our friends can often see the topside of the tapestry and all it’s beauty. That’s why we keep coming back to see the latest thread you’ve woven.
    Oh, and speaking of driving, I used to be a driving instructor and even taught my mother to drive when she was 65 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have red thread in my Murica bag, because red thread, around the wrist or ankle of someone you love, means your soul is tied in friendship. Usually (legend has it) the red thread is invisible, but the shop only sold the regular kind. So I left a trail of red-threaded people across the States, and only took my own off (from September, yup) in May, for an interview, because I needed to appear professional.

    *sigh*

    I’ve probably told you before, Sparkly One, but you remind me so much of Mary’s description of the Indian boy god, who, when you looked down his throat, had the whole universe there.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. 247 felonies?? Is that a typo? Are we talking about the same Ra? (I don’t know the full story and you need not tell me as I don’t feel it’s my business, I’m just shocked by the number.)

    My best friend doesn’t drive so I understand. She recently discovered Uber and it’s like a 1-year-old discovering birthday cake. ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “There’s momentum in the big emotions and we can use that to put feet on hope, to put wings on love– to mobilize the army of Goodness.”

    I absolutely love this thought, concept, and the way it is so eloquently and beautifully said. Also really love the entire post, but this line spoke to me.
    I am impressed with your strong character and ability to embrace your uniqueness. Everybody has a long story to tell, but too many try to shorten it by leaving out the important details. Keep weaving your threads rarasaur. Eventually they will all come together in an amazing life quilt and the supportive and loving people that stuck around for every story woven will be glad they did.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Did you just linked me up there. Are my “on the spot words” now together with your perfectly put together words. WHY ARE YOU MAKING ME TEAR UP SO.

    I just gave you a hug. I’m sure you felt something; a light breeze in your hair, a faint taste of salty water, a slight taste of freshly fried plantain. That was me and my Caribbean hugging you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. RaRa,

    24-7 felon is a pretty good rap…if you wanna slide poetry sometime. First on my 247 reasons why RaRa doesn’t drive would be:

    1 – She’s too nice a person to engage in LA traffic.

    What else would be on the list? Could this become a RAWR game??

    RR

    Liked by 1 person

  10. M still doesn’t drive, which I am glad for money-wise as I can’t afford a second car or the insurance right now, but I wish he had more options to be independent. Unfortunately, with the move we went from urban Target-Aldi-Walgreens-Food Lion-Kroger-Rite Aid and who knows how many restaurants and “smaller” businesses within a five minute walk to 3 miles from civilization in the part of the suburbs which feels rural. Normally he would walk that easily and back, except it’s on a road that is treacherous for cars and has no shoulders or sidewalks or yards to cut through.

    We’ll figure it out though…we always do. Like life.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I hope you see that you Ra, are the glistening golden thread in this tapestry, and not just a lonely string hanging from the corner.
    We are all here for a purpose, and though you may not SEE it, your beautiful and perfectly knotted tapestry always shows its desire to accept us into its folds.
    A wonderful post my dear.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. A negative insecure person might say: “My life is a beautiful tapestry… Not.”

    But you, you, The Mighty Ra, say: “My life is a beautiful tapestry… Knot.”

    See? You’re making a very positive statement… : )

    Hang ye in there!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thud! May I be a thread in your tapestry Rara? And I would be honored to teach you to drive if you wish – geography will be a challenge but if you are patient with me we can overcome. (If all goes well, I am moving to Vancouver next month and my roommate has indicated that he would like to take some trips to So Cal.)

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ah the club of non driving people seems huge. I always feel like I am the odd one out not driving with 27 almost 28. My reasons reach from the obvious to the bizarre.
    Now on holidays in the country where being car-less means being immobilised I am glad to be a city dweller.

    Like

  15. To me, your stories don’t seen tangled or knotted. I don’t know why. Maybe my brain works like yours does. Or maybe I just view everything as a story. I don’t know.

    One thing I do know – Ra, I love you for all that you share with us, and all that you don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. You are an amazing woman. You’re so alive, so vibrant. And so unashamed of who you are and what you think. I wish I felt such security at that level. To see that you are, is inspiring, reminds me that who I am is okay. That I am enough. Even though I don’t know how to drive. It makes me want to live the way you live. Vibrant, alive, and unashamed. Thank you for being you.

    Like

  17. The tangled web of stories you weave, chaotic, bold, vibrant truths. A verbal assault on inequality. As far as I’m concerned, you are a hero, a warrior poet, with the heart of a lion and the soul of a thousand years. Every time I read, you bare it all, emotionally naked, there is so much real here, this is your world, but I feel welcome here. Thank you. My apologies for taking so long to read, our rural internet is sporadic at best. Keep being you.

    Liked by 1 person

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