Raised and Returned
May 8, 2019
If I were God, looking down from on high, it’s one of those situations where I’d consider breaking my long-standing policy of non-intervention. I wouldn’t, though; as always I’d just sigh, and ruefully shake my head.
Since I’m not God, however, I don’t have that option. Instead I have to participate, daily, in the frustrating inscrutability of the stoplights that govern the intersection of Niwot Road and the Diagonal.
Part of what makes it especially maddening is its inconsistency. Sometimes it works exactly as it should: the lights change as they should, in the obvious logical order, the traffic flows through sending everyone smoothly on their way.
And then at other times, it doesn’t; the entry gate opens, and nigh-simultaneously the exit-gate closes; and so I’m stuck on the desert island between the Diagonal’s southbound and northbound lanes, two minutes spent twiddling my thumbs and idly, effecting further climate change, for no reason at all.
Sure, it’s just two minutes, right? But it’s two minutes I spend kind of hating the world. I suppose I could try and enter some zen-state of acceptance, but that runs contrary to my basic nature of refusing to accept things that are illogical and unnecessary. And again, the fact that it sometimes works perfectly. This just baffles me. The pattern seems to be that it’s in stupid-mode during the day, and then switches into sensible-mode in the evening. The only thing I can think of, as to a source, is some over-thought, ill-considered, intentional action for traffic control.
Because this is Boulder County, and when given the choice between assuming its citizens might be capable of responsible self-governance, or assuming that its citizens need a nanny to micromanage the course of their daily actions, Boulder County pretty much always assumes the latter.
That’s my only supposition, because it’s the only one I can fathom.
Regardless, for a governing body that spends so much time trumpeting its commitment to the environment, to then turn around and force me to idly spend two minutes spewing toxic fumes into the air, strikes me as logically inconsistent and fundamentally hypocritical.
Sure, it’s just two minutes. But micro-experiences are the component parts of your macro-experience of the world. And on a more basic, general level, I’d like to live in a community wherein actions align with stated values. In our contemporary era of living in silos and bubble-domes, finding common ground has become an intractable problem; but I think that the idea of wanting to live within a community whose actions are consistent with its values, is an idea that pretty much all of us can agree upon.