Turning the wheel.

From the archives

P1020544I looked at my car tonight, thinking how beautiful her lines are in my eyes. She is, undoubtedly, past her best, her engine is a little tired and uneconomical to bring back to optimum performance, the work she needs no longer financially viable, at least for me. Really, she needs an enthusiast to spend time and skill with her to bring her back to what she should be.

I can feel the road through her chassis, every bump, every mile, every bend. This is not necessarily be a good thing, you may say. You are probably right. I quite like it. She responds to me and she, the road and I have a wonderfully intimate relationship.

Virtually anything will pass us on a fast road these days, not because she isn’t capable of speed, but because, being a little old lady, I am gentle with her. She is robust, reliable and very special to me for many reasons. But, I know that one day very soon, she and I will have to part company. I cannot afford to do her justice.

Yet, I love the little old lady. I cannot imagine getting rid of her and replacing her with something newer, possibly more practical, with fewer miles on the clock and an engine I can play with. Even though I know I would enjoy a car with, perhaps, greater comfort, better performance and with roof seals that don’t leak on me when the rain comes at a specific angle.

This car fits me like a glove. She cuddles me when I drive her and I get a thrill of joy every time I get behind her rather shabby wheel, even now, after so many years and tens of thousands of miles. Another car?

I cannot imagine it… I dread that day. Have you ever wondered how much our emotions and fears are based on imagination? We anticipate a scenario in our minds, peopling it with characters and scripting in fantasy what they are going to say, yet when reality actually arrives, nine times out of ten, it is utterly different from what we have pictured.

We then enter these imagined situations in a state of predetermined terror, feeling a very real fear, physically and emotionally, and we react accordingly. We may find ourselves, depending on our nature, being deliberately on either the offensive or defensive, intent upon meeting head on a situation that exists, in fact, only within our own minds.

The spider doesn’t eat us whole, the dentist is not a homicidal maniac, the interviewer not bent wholly on uncovering every skeleton in our family closet. The new car may, in fact, be a joy.

Yet we build these fears for ourselves with utter familiarity and, quite frequently, an absolute disregard for logic.

Odd, isn’t it?

We manage to convince ourselves of awful and terrible possibilities without the slightest hesitation. Yet a modicum of common sense would show how ridiculous we are being.

Then, of course, there is the obverse effect which we seldom notice, let alone use. How about if we harness that same power of imagination to create positive scenarios? We do it occasionally, even though we don’t realise it.

Christmas morning as a child is filled with excited anticipation. So is a first date, a long-awaited reunion, the birth of a child… Here, too, we see ourselves in imagination right inside the situation, revelling in the moment and the gift of joy that it brings. We have already decided the outcome of the event before it begins, consequently we go into it already feeling the predicted emotion and handle the situation in a far more positive manner.

So, instead of looking at what I will miss about my little car, I am going to start looking at all the things I shall enjoy about her replacement, starting with how nice it will be to be able to use the accelerator pedal with confidence and panache, rather than gentle concern.

I have had and driven a good many cars over the years, This little baby is the first one that ever captured my heart. My first love affair with wheels. Who knows, I may fall in love with the new one when I find it, all over again, and find, that like any first love, the next is better, deeper, stronger, and the last is the best of all.

Update.

My little car died, quietly one night in a hotel car-park far from home. She was replaced by a shiny, much newer model with an accelorator pedal I dared to use, air-con, so much space… we named her the Silver Bullet and I learned to love her too. She performed sterling service till squashed by a supermarket lorry where she was safely’ parked.

But I still miss being hugged by my old MR2. I hope she does not rest in peace, but is somewhere being loved by someone who knows how to care for her s I could not and will let her play with the roads.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
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14 Responses to Turning the wheel.

  1. Darcy says:

    A supermarket lorry? Arghhh… sorry to hear about that!

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  2. davidprosser says:

    And after the Silver Bullet was squashed…….?
    xxx Hugs Galore xxx

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  3. I feel your pain. I had to let my MX-5 go a few years ago. She was replaced by a little Twingo: compact, economical and loaded with all manner of electronics; but gutless, and totally lacking in character.

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    • Sue Vincent says:

      The MX-5 is a fun car… practicality is overrated sometimes.

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      • Sadly, weak front suspension, clutch problems and a total refusal to start between October and March conspired to render it too impractical even for me. In its defence, the Twingo has cruise control, automatic climate control, rain sensitive wipers and headlamps that go on just a little later than I would put them on myself. Cons? 72hp 1.2 litre low emissions engine and too highly geared. I use the crawler lane on autoroute hills, and trucks pass me! And it’s small. Very small. Having said that, I have driven it from the middle of France to Hampshire a few times.

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        • Sue Vincent says:

          I had to drive a small engined car recently…and grateful I was for her too when I’d broken down… but I found her dangerous. I don’t drive fast these days…but I am used to being able to get a quick response and the delay while it thought through the wisdom of my decision, calculated trajectories and questioned my sanity darned near killed me a couple of times…

          Liked by 1 person

  4. stevetanham says:

    Reblogged this on Sun in Gemini and commented:
    We all remember Sue’s Italian shaped, ‘sports’ car; and they were iconic times for the early Silent Eye School…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bun Karyudo says:

    Oh well, at least you can look back on your old car with affection! (I’m sorry to hear, by the way, that her replacement lost a fight with a truck.)

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  6. I understand some of this feeling, Sue. I’m keeping my almost 20 yr. old car on a dare. There’s nothing wrong with it, yet, and I just put 100,000 miles on it. There is nothing new out there that is calling to me. ☺

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