The bus driver

This morning I created the intention of waking up in every moment. I was on a bus in the city, the only passenger, when the bus driver started making annoyed comments about pedestrians not crossing the road at the right place, and would-be passengers not signalling him clearly, and so on.

I didn’t make any response but started thinking about him instead and trying to see more clearly what he looked like.

A bit later, I felt OK to ask him a question about how he liked the new bus route. “It’s better for us drivers,” he said, and we chatted for a while. He didn’t quite give up being annoyed at the people we passed, but it lessened. A few minutes later he started talking about his daughter and how she was a teacher, and then out of the blue, he said she’d recently had a nervous breakdown. After that, there was no barrier. He talked about his worries for her, and about he and his wife, and so on. I just listened mostly.

At the end of our trip together, I went up close to him to get off and saw he had the face of a kindly Santa Claus. I realised that if I’d stuck with the initial impression created by his comments about pedestrians, I’d never have seen him at all.

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Image: Detail of Berlin Buddha by Zhang Huan, photo from 2014 installation at Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Hobart, Australia

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