Road hypnosis: Quiet.

From an excellent short piece in Esquire about driving west across North Dakota:
Squinting into orange, I thought about those things that we never let ourselves think about — those things that we actively defend ourselves against thinking about by having so much other stuff to look at and listen to.
We actively defend ourselves against thinking. Doesn't that speak volumes? Sometimes the messages that bubble up from our own minds are unsettling, even painful: will this path take me in a direction I want to go in five years? Am I being genuine? Am I avoiding doing something I'd really enjoy just because it would look stupid or cost too much? What am I earning this money for, anyway? Our possessions, our music, our booze, and yes, our Internet - all these things serve partly to protect us from the pain of these questions.

In A Hidden Wholeness, Parker Palmer goes into some detail about how he brings together groups of people in ways that help them hear what they're thinking. Not what each other are thinking - each individual strives to hear their own motivations and fears. I've written a series of posts here about how I try to use quietness for that purpose. It's my war against myself - a struggle to consciously push aside all the distractions I've put into place to cover up my subconscious. I'm pretty sure it's what Kundera was talking about when he wrote about slowness. (Hi, Matt!)

I'm not sure if driving would work for me, but it certainly did the trick for Chris Jones.

via Jalopnik