Reflections on “The Cab Ride”
“It was palpable… I could feel his words…”
I had an amazing thing happen last week. It all started with an innocent email from an old friend sharing a highly “web-circulated” story of miraculous magnitude. I may have seen this story before, seemed familiar, but this time “The Cab Ride I’ll Never Forget” hit me like a ton of bricks.
You see, I’ve spent the last few months living in a precarious way… I left Los Angeles for the back woods of Alaska to write… and during this time, I’ve had some very interesting moments, to say the least. Miraculous encounters while being present in the moment watching the simple yet curious happenings of life in a small village where things are… a bit different.
I took off on this journey to write, though I don’t think I knew that at the time. I just desperately needed a break from the mayhem of Los Angeles and this seemed the perfect spot. Many years ago, I lived in these parts, so coming for a “visit” was not too difficult. Friends who are like family opened a door… and back in January, I felt that getting a break out of the city – into the cold dark barren north – would be good medicine to clear my mind and help me write.
So the other day when I read this story “The Cab Ride I’ll Never Forget” I was especially moved… It was such a clear and potent example of the way life can be, when we are present, as I’ve been experiencing on a constant basis in my slowed-down life where peculiar is most common in this character-driven town of a few hundred people near the base of North America’s greatest mountains. The richness we can find in the blink of an eye when we really pay attention to what’s going on around us can be profound.
“The Cab Ride,” if you haven’t seen it, is about an old woman’s ride to the hospice where she will die, as told by the driver of her cab, a now-famous writer sharing a story from his own distant past. The story was so poignant and yet simple… and struck a particular cord for me. See my time this winter has been filled with helping elderly friends with daily life – chopping wood, shoveling snow, taking care of others, putting life’s eventual end near in my thoughts during breaks from my writing… These times have highlighted the importance of taking in simple moments, being present with what’s happening now and staying clear, to be a friend.
So when I read “The Cab Ride” story last week, I was incredibly moved, so much that I immediately wrote to the writer Kent Nerburn, an accomplished author and much sought after speaker – I just had to. Crazy part is, he wrote back to me – within 10 minutes! I was so moved by his story, then the writings I found on his blog, that when I got a personal message back from him, I was sort of stunned.
And what I must share now, is what struck me most from that experience last week.
When I read this man’s writing… literally every word echoed with enormous grace for me. I was dramatically taken by the potency in his words… his depth and wisdom permeated me with every word – literally. It was palpable… I could feel his words… even as they seemed so very simple, there was something incredibly rich transferring unto me, coming through his writing, that really moved me. And that is when it hit me… as though this great writer was reaching through the ethers straight to me to say… DO IT! You have got to share your words! I have grappled with writing… I love to write and I know I must do so, yet I wonder how on earth this will work when all I “see” is me just telling stories… writing. I know somehow it will work and I’ll make a great living with my words… but at the moment, as revenue mechanisms for writing are being honed, I sometimes worry, wonder and ponder… how on earth am I really going to do this?
So that day, as I felt the presence of this hugely grounded writer hanging out right here with me in my own personal space, I was hit clear as day with a powerful reflection… This man’s words were cutting right through me as I realized he was showing me that is what happens through my words too… I have sensed my words move others deeply, yet we all have doubt… The moment became a powerful confirmation as I experienced what seemed a demonstration, that indeed, simple words DO have very deep impact.
I was able to feel the depth of this man’s entire life experience through the simple reflections he shared… And that’s when I knew. It is in sharing the way I see the world… that which comes from lifetimes worth of reflection… that my morsels of gold are carried forward. Experiences shared through the way we see and the depth we read into life is what’s so important and valuable to share – to carry it all forward.
So I am deeply grateful for “The Cab Ride” landing in my in-box when it did – and even more, for the sequence of events that unfolded from there, for I was able to experience the great man and writer found in Kent Nerburn – and he has inspired, fueled me forward – to carry forth and share the stories that I hold.
I’ve spent so many years traveling this globe… experiencing life in the moment… pioneering creative life that in itself brought about deep wisdom for understanding the organic processes of change and creativity… And my knowing has come through miraculous experiences in countless foreign situations – in the moment – where I knew no more than what was right in front of me, as I learned to respond in a flash, to make the changes that would come. This is the mastery I developed along the way… and now, I am knowing, it’s time to share the unfolding stories!
I am deeply grateful for that powerful day last week when I encountered this great writer and his simple yet deeply moving story of a ride in a cab one night many years back in his past.
I invite you to share the magic… “The Cab Ride I’ll Never Forget” is posted at zenmoments.org and shared with the author’s gracious permission. If you’re interested, Kent Nerburn humbly shares some of his own post-thoughts from the viral experience of his story traversing the web – found at his blog www.kentnerburn.com.
Deep thanks to Kent Nerburn ~ for his spirit, courage and perseverance as a great writer!
by Sharon L. Corsaro
Originally posted Wednesday, April 22, 2009 by Sharon Corsaro at www.TidBitsofGold.com
“Sharon Corsaro is a writer, creative coach, freelance consultant and facilitator.
She has traveled the world sharing her communication and creative collaboration skills while learning how to live the magic of being present in the moment. This year, Sharon’s been working on her first book and speaker’s platform to share her creative tools for navigating the process of change in everyday life. She offers Creative Coaching by phone to help others gain clear vision for strategic forward motion in personal and business endeavors, and she writes about “the gold found in everyday life” on her blog www.TidBitsofGold.com and on Twitter @growinggold.”
To learn more about Sharon Corsaro, visit her home website atwww.growing-gold.com.
Published on Zen Moments with kind permission of the author.
Recommended from Zen Moments Bookstore:
Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace
By Kent Nerburn
Average customer review:
The Cab Ride I’ll Never Forget” appears in this beautiful book – which takes the prayer of St Francis into everyday life.
“Nerburn has lived the Prayer of Saint Francis, and the quiet example of this book will help many readers to do so as well. He unwittingly describes the strength and power of his own project while reflecting on a phrase from the prayer’s final stanza, “For it is in giving that we receive.” Nerburn writes, “Our spirits are nourished by giving, just as our bodies are nourished by food. This is not mystical; it is not high-minded. It is a simple truth about the way that the energy of life flows back and forth between people when a moment of giving takes place.” –Michael Joseph Gross