Friday, February 26, 2010

The Bus In a Snow Globe...Shake and Settle

So today on the bus...

visual: Brown herringbone lululemon Groove Pants, a hot pink fleece pullover and my neon vans wait for the bus today. I am plugged into my music machine, a green iPod shuffle that matches my bright green aviator-esque shades searching down Wilshire Blvd for my red shuttle to work.

It is a cooler day and I appreciate the crisp feeling in the air after a nice rain. We get into summer so fast in LA, I remind myself to marvel in the amazing colorful long sleeves and pullovers I have, while I still can!

My best friend had uploaded her music library to my iPod and I am just jamming walking to my bus stop. Old 80's jams and upbeat tunes usually rock my jogs - thus my iPod is full of them! As I approach the bus, I am intrigued by all the people with their headphones in or cell phones readily available in hand. No one is tapping their foot or dancing, but we all are tuned ... out, so it seems!

NOTE: I did an insane yoga class this morning. My mind is already in a haze as my body is still in cool-down mode from the heat of the class, deep movements and overall stress release.

The bus approaches and I tuck the headphones in my fleece. I drop in my quarters and acknowledge my bus driver - who also seemed a bit zoned out. Comforting.

It is the late morning, so my bus is rather full and there is good energy in here. I decide to run a little experiment. I am going to be that iPod-listening-bus-rider. I am going to plug in and zone out from people. See what all the fuss is about. What I miss and who I might overlook.

My hypothesis here is that I will miss all the action. Be literally tuned out from the reality and amazing happenings that occur daily on the bus. I will step off with a sense of failure and truly feel as if I have ignored the World.

So, I begin to relax into my seat and enjoy the ride. I find I am more observant and aware of the entire bus. I have my tunes in the background. I can see an older gentleman sharing conversation with a younger female student sitting behind him. I focus on the woman on her cell phone up front; she is on the phone yet literally reading her book at the same time! And the crew of friends that just walked on laughing and smiling over common interests.

It is almost my own meditation - as if I have my bus in a snow globe. Every bus stop, it shakes and the snow falls to grab my music-injected attention.

How interesting! I close my eyes and smile. I imagine myself in the snow globe and someone seeing me. Eyes closed, comfortable and smiling with my tunes in my ears. Maybe they smile. Maybe they change the song to find a happy place. What possibility am I for others - even when I am not directly connecting with them?

Oh, I am getting somewhere with this iPod project!

The indirection connection I am feeling with the entire bus is somewhat magical. Most buses are so silent, but today the 720 is rocking life. Friends in this corner, conversations here, multi-taskers there. Maybe it is my yoga buzz from earlier, but I am zenned out in the middle of Los Angeles on public transit, yet completely present and aware of my surroundings.

How is that?

Me? The busy body. I move and shake at all times....a mover and shaker! However, I found a peace of mind in one of the more crazier spaces in my life.

All along, I hypothesized I would be that typical ignore-the-people passenger. What I experienced was bus bliss! I found a different form of bus bliss! By tuning out, I literally tuned in to everything around me.

I step off the bus so happy. So light. Or maybe the yoga hippie life of Southern CA is getting to me - but whatever it is, I feel great!

I ponder this action in life. When you have so much going on and you are a mile a minute, if we step back, smile and drop any expectations - we might get a better and bigger picture of what is actually going on.

Appreciate it.

And let the snow globe of life keep shaking and settling....shaking and settling.



  1. Nice... :)

  2. Great article in the LA times by the way. I would love to take public transportation but the farthest the metro would take me towards work is right in the center of the projects in south central LA, not the best place to wonder about... one day I'll be a bus-er!

  3. what a great metaphor the snow globe of life. the environment slowing down before our eyes as we tune out the distracting. complete indirection connection. it amazes me how utterly interesting you are to me. i find reading your words as entertaining as reading anthony bourdain's books "kitchen confidential" and "a cooks tour".

    what olskool 80's jams were you listening to?

    i remember jamming to tears for fears on a bus ride to the beach once, with my cool yellow sony walkman singing to myself throughout the ride.

  4. Good article, it seemed nostalgic and tangible. I bet the music changes things pretty drastically, like if listening to norah jones would make you see things from the viewpoint of Nighthawks, Amos Lee would make you be in love with everyone, Louis Armstrong be amazed etc etc.

  5. This is more for the whole blog, not merely this entry: I am SO glad you did this blog. I too am a "discretionary rider" at times and I send my son to school every day on a Phoenix city bus. Good job. I get tired of the bad rap that mass transit gets. Kudos Amiga !!!

  6. Even the typical "typical ignore-the-people passenger" is part of something far greater than anyone sitting alone in their car on the 405. Good for you. No matter what kind of rider you are, you are all participating in life and being a part of the solution.

  7. That’s so nice thought for the party bus in the globe. I like it.
    Thanks for blog.

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