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8.01.2010

The WAY of Traffic

Traffic is a complex integrity. The Traffic, she is one, yet many. You must understand her and honor her as one, yet participate as one of many. You are part of her; this you must accept. If you attempt to enter her as a solitary being, she will reject you. You must become her, while being true to your own nature.

The various parts each have their own nature. The great Lorries are the Tembo. They embody power. They start slowly and stop more slowly yet. They rumble where they will. They do not adjust or change their course for you. To ask them to make any sudden change or even to notice you is to ask them to be untrue to their own nature, and the Traffic, she will be offended. Nothing good ever comes of that.

The Autos, great to small, are the cattle - bulls and cows. The big Land Cruisers push aside the smaller cows. It is their nature. Cattle move best in orderly formation, they queue up rank and file. Autos respect Lorries and make orderly rows around them. They pay attention to the Lorries and notice their intentions to turn or stop. They attend and cooperate.  When they aret true to their natures they movely with regularity and intention; neither timid nor impulsive. If a large auto thinks to taken upon itself the nature of the Lorrie, Traffic will eventually teach that auto a lesson in humility. When the auto is fearful, and does not live up to its rightful place, Traffic will be confused and frustrated.

We are the Moto. We swarm. Our nature is quick and intuitive. We are like water and flow into the spaces left by the larger creatures. We are like smoke and rise to the top of every queue. The Lorries do not see us. We are beneath their recognition. We pay homage to them, not the other way around. The autos cede us our place and are not offended when we pass them and form up at the front. It is in our nature to form groups whenever we can.  A swarm of motos can move as one and be recognized as a cow to make a left turn, and then we melt again into a string and thread our way through. When we are untrue to our nature and in a solitary act of hubris attempt to take the place of a cow, the cows are offended at the waste of space. If we are true to our nature and listen for the voice of Traffic, she will reveal a pathway for us and maintain our safety in it. It is untrue to our nature to attend to the lower creatures, but it is in our nature to announce our presence frequently with our bright chirping horns, so that the lower creatures may honor us.

The bicycles are a fallen race. Once they swarmed, dipped and dived like the moto.  Now they have been pushed to the edges. Working harder for so much less. Not able to compete in size or speed, they sell their sweat, and dream of the upgrade from catepillar to butterfly.  It is a kindness, an alms-giving to make way for the bicycles - a payment in humility to the knowledge that Traffic is not done creating and someday you may be moved to the edge.

The humans walk.  They have their own pathways now on the concrete ways. It is wrong to drive on their path. When Traffic sings her song in the dirt, they join us in the way. It is important to sense their presence but not really see them. They are watching the moving ones. Gaging their nature, speed, and attitude, and finding their own path. If you look at them and try and adjust to them, it will just throw them off and plunge them into peril. They trust you to stay true to your nature and you must trust them to protect their own lives. They are occasionally skittish and they balk or jump. When this happens you must look at them and try not to kill them, but Traffic is disturbed and their peril shifts to you as you deviate from the way.  You must regain harmony as swiftly as possible and thank Traffic for the grace.

Traffic does not walk, or sweat, or swarm, or queue, or rumble. She flows. Serene when all who are part of her surrender, accept, and engage.

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