Consider Mona and Lily the Map Girls

City Park in Iowa City, late yesterday afternoon

This morning we are waking up at the Sheraton in downtown Iowa City. Darlene is out walking Claire. We have a light itinerary today, a three-and-a-half-hour drive to Chicago. I can't wait to see Mona the map girl doing her GPS thing in a big city. My friend Kes Woodward e-mailed me yesterday about the Lexus built-in version of a GPS system, which he experienced last week while driving his father's LS 430. Kes writes,

Just as you did inadvertently, I didn't follow directions, but I got a huge kick out of trying to frustrate and annoy the somewhat more mellifluous, almost sultry woman's voice on his GPS--which it never occurred to me to name, even though I thought very much of her as an individual speaking to me in real time. We disagreed with the way she routed us to the Interstate (though she may have been right, and we were just slaves to habit) and then my dad knew numerous shortcuts once we got off the interstate. I kept wishing I could annoy her, but she never batted an electronic eye--or even said, "Recalculating..."--just tried each time unsuccessfully to herd me back onto the "correct" route with new directions, and then realized amazingly quickly what new way I'd picked and phlegmatically prompted me along that route, just as if I'd never disobeyed.
Even before reading Kes's account, I had been thinking of Mona (and her mellifluous cousin Lily?) as pointing to a spiritual model for navigating life's so-called wrong turns. What if each time during the day when I went off course, or found myself where I hadn't expected to be, I simply adjusted the route to my destination, entered into the system as "a day well lived" instead of "210 South Dubuque Street"? A related tech/spiritual paradigm would be rebooting. They say 90 percent of all computer snarls can be solved by rebooting the operating system. A prayer for help reboots my own operating system just as reliably.

Trains and prayer, two of my favorite interests. Travel unwinds me. It is now time to fetch Darlene some coffee and a croissant.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?