A Car is a Car until it is not Just a Car

To return to this place where Steve and I had lived has been hard. Sad, joyous, lonely, pointless, exciting. There are some high moments in the deep valleys. Great joy, deepest pain. Overcoming dualities. After I left in a frantic haste following my breast cancer diagnosis, Steve had packed up all my belongings, indeed our entire place, before coming to California to be with me for the cancer treatment.

Imagine returning now to a garage full of dusty boxes, suitcases and bags, filled with stuff, all sorts of stuff. For me it was definitely not the kind of ecstatic homecoming that Coco experienced when we got here! And then there were all of Steve’s clothes, his sacred items, his tools, his beloved red pickup truck, his motorcycle.

Some months ago I had made arrangements to swap the pickup for a different car, and to sell his motorcycle, ideally without having to see them again – so many memories – upon my arrival. But as life had it, it did not work out that way.

I found myself driving the pickup for several days. Everything in that car reminded me of Steve. My great spiritual practice to let the car simply be a car was intense and not exactly successful. I cried a lot. The sound of the motor starting. Coco lying under the car waiting for him to take her some place exciting. The smell of the car seats. The way the car rattled up the driveway. Every single detail radiated Steve. I quickly got attached to the car.

Steve’s motorcycle in the garage also gave me some kind of comfort. The memory of his joy each time he started it and drove off to yoga. His boyish smile of delight when he could fix some small thing on his bike. Even though I never sat on it, and never liked him having it to begin with (too dangerous), I quickly got attached to the bike, too.

But, as I said, I had made arrangements. It was too late to turn back. The day came when the two vehicles were to be picked up. A friend and I washed the pickup and got the bike ready. Coco must have known what was coming. First she would not get off the back of the truck, then she wouldn’t come out from underneath.

When finally the bike was loaded up and secured, the car ready to go, I cried my eyes out while having to drag Coco out from underneath the pickup. The young Costa Rican man whom I had arranged this with, a longtime friend of ours, had tears in his eyes, too. A sweet moment in time.

And then they were gone. For the last time Steve’s treasures were driven down our driveway. They disappeared from view. I stood there with Coco by my side, for a long time.

A car is a car until it is not just a car.

And then again, it is a car.

Releasing attachment is the most challenging practice. Letting go again, and again and again. And again.

One day you will disappear on a funeral pyre — just into nothingness, as smoke. Don’t get attached to anything. This attachment takes you away from your real being; you become focused on the thing to which you are attached. Your awareness gets lost in things, in money, in people, in power. And there are a thousand and one things, the whole thick jungle around you, to be lost in.

Remember, non-attachment is the secret of finding yourself, then awareness can turn inwards because you don’t have anything outside to catch hold of. It is free, and in this freedom you can know your self-nature. ~Osho

15 replies
  1. Mary Alice
    Mary Alice says:

    Lokita, what to say….? Another challenge you could not have known would be there. Thank you for sharing it once again. Some day it will help me when I am asking “WHY?”……… The answer is, “Just because….”

  2. chantil
    chantil says:

    thanks so much for sharing. I know this must be a difficult journey. it’s comforting to hear such honesty. you are amazing woman and you will make it through and I can’t wait to see where life takes you from here but I know Steve will be with you in spirit

  3. Danielle Adair
    Danielle Adair says:

    Powerful. Having just cleaned out my Mother’s entire house after her death, I feel and hear the human experience of grief and pain. How long will it last? How many times can I cry? Why do I want to keep – fill in the blank? I have no use for it, but it was hers. I can still touch something she touched. I ended up with a box. One. My baby shoes, which were in a small box ready to be sent to be bronzed. Guess she never got around to sending them. Cards and invitations I’d sent to her over the years. And pictures from her youth. The rest is just stuff. I am so impressed by your strength Lokita. Ever striving to let go.

  4. MarieL Thompson
    MarieL Thompson says:

    Dear Lokita,
    We only met once or twice, yet following your incredible Journey is truly inspirational for me. You express so deeply; so openly, so honestly, and so painfully, and I honestly, openly, and deeply honor and appreciate you. I’m now here in MZ, too. Perhaps we will share a moment or more while I’m here. About letting go: it’s a very new practice for me, even though I’ve heard and read and thought I’ve done it thousands of times. What I’m finding is that….if I pay attention…when I really let something go, the “whatever” I craved comes to me in some astonishingly amazing form that may not look the least bit like what I was craving. Know what I mean? But all in Divine Time. Your comment “A car is a car until it is not just a car. And then again, it is a car.” says everything honey. Love and Light. Marie

  5. Tracy Byars
    Tracy Byars says:

    Lokita, once again I am humbled and speechless. Your writing is beautiful, powerful and poignant — always and again. May your life become easier, more peaceful and joyful. Love you!

  6. Christina de Jongh
    Christina de Jongh says:

    Crying with you. So many phases to go through. I have had a premonition that this return would not be easy. Wish I could make it all different for you with a magic wand, but I cannot. So much grief, because there is so much love!!!Gratitude there was this joyous love between the two of you, so strong and steady with so many colors and shades of emotion. Love you both so much and sending you a huge big hug for your heart, which I hope can be balmy around its wounds.Love too for Coco. There is only the Divine Peace that keeps is on our feet amidst these waves.

  7. Sue Tobias
    Sue Tobias says:

    Lokita- your words so easily and poignantly pierce through my illusions about life and spiritual practice. I often meditate on and practice (or attempt to practice!) releasing attachment and letting go. Your words on letting go of the car and motorcycle are so insightful and inspiring and encourage me that I, too can practice this in everyday life and not just on the yoga mat or the meditation cushion. Picturing you and Coco watching the car being driven away brought tears to my eyes and then …………. a big sigh (felt like a release?).

    With gratitude and a huge loving hug for you and Coco,

  8. Sonya
    Sonya says:

    Sweetest Lokita,
    ditto on Tracy’s words too.
    I can totally relate to this; Sometimes seeing my husband striding through the garden, carrying some machine part or tool, wearing his tatty old working clothes… my heart starts pounding, and my head is thinking: one day is going to be the last time I will see this… And then I know both, love and attachment.
    Love you,

  9. Steven V. Wismer
    Steven V. Wismer says:

    Oh beauty,

    I have spent so many years as a spirit being having a human experience looking to be a spirit being that I feel like Coco chasing her own tale. Attachment to something that makes me feel safe is something I work on, the human part of me gets it, the spirit part does too. My heart goes out to you during this time, I know you are there by yourself but many of us are with you as well, the love part will always exist.



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