[get_template slug="comments"]

9 Comments

  1. Elianne Obadia, The Writer's Midwife
    April 22, 2013 @ 8:22 pm

    I just love this post, Mani! Thank you for delivering with your usual grace a slice of life full of heart and truth . . . and for honoring the passing of the GG toll takers with these stories. Having moved to another state this past August, I didn’t realize that the plan to get rid of the toll collectors had gone through.

    Reading your post made me remember the first step toward full automation many of us took–when we started to use Fastrak. As I flew through the Fastrak lanes, I often regretted the price I was paying for the reduction of my time on the road by a minute or two and one dollar less per crossing: that connection with another human being, which you speak of so beautifully. Sometimes, as I think many of us did, I had paid the toll for a stranger behind me . . . one of those random acts that make you just feel plain good. (Maybe one day, the Fastrak people will find a way to charge us twice, on our request; who knows?)

    I really missed the interaction with the toll-taker, not to mention the smiles and waves from inside the vehicle behind me when it sped by to acknowledge the unexpected gift.

    I guess that leaves us with having to hunt down other opportunities throughout the day to connect with those who serve us . . . cashiers, tellers, shopkeepers, people waiting on line with us . . . There’s no lack of occasions to spread good will in this crazy and hurting and wonderful world.

    Love, Elianne

    Reply

    • Legacy, Memory and Memoir
      April 22, 2013 @ 8:40 pm

      Thank you for the reminder that we can choose to find other occasions to connect to those that serve us and cross out path. Recent events remind us that we those we thought were strangers are really a part of us.

      Reply

  2. Elianne Obadia, The Writer's Midwife
    April 22, 2013 @ 8:20 pm

    I just love this post, Mani! Thank you for delivering with your usual grace a slice of life full of heart and truth . . . and for honoring the passing of the GG toll takers with these stories. Having moved to another state this past August, I didn’t realize that the plan to get rid of the toll collectors had gone through.

    Reading your post made me remember the first step toward full automation many of us took–when we started to use Fastrak. As I flew through the Fastrak lanes, I often regretted the price I was paying for the reduction of my time on road by a minute or two and one dollar less per crossing: that connection with another human being, which you speak of so beautifully. Sometimes, as I think many of us did, I had paid the toll for a stranger behind me . . . one of those random acts that make you just feel plain good. (Maybe one day, the Fastrak people will find a way to charge us twice, on our request; who knows?)

    I really missed the interaction with the toll-taker, not to mention the smiles and waves that from inside the vehicle behind me when it sped by to acknowledge the unexpected gift.

    I guess that leaves us with having to hunt down other opportunities throughout the day to connect with those who serve us . . . cashiers, tellers, shopkeepers, people waiting on line with us . . . There’s no lack of occasions to spread good will in this crazy and hurting and wonderful world.

    Love, Elianne

    Reply

  3. Nina
    April 7, 2013 @ 6:00 pm

    Oh, I so agree with you, Mani. In the past few years, because of my mother’s illnesses, I often crossed the Golden Gate Bridge several times a day. I came to know (as much as one can in such short encounters) quite a few of the toll-takers: there was the sweet-faced asian-american man whose smile always knocked me out; the woman whose nails, rings and bracelets were always perfectly color-coordinated, a little moment of beauty in the otherwise mundane commute; the woman who always had treats for my dogs; the guy who flirted with me in a pleasant, gentle way and who once told me, when I really needed to hear it: “unstress yourself!” Even the toll takers who annoyed me were part of the experience of crossing the bridge. That experience is more streamlined now, but far less colorful and far less alive.

    Reply

  4. Michael Gardner
    April 7, 2013 @ 12:33 pm

    That blog was very touching. I remember being embarrassed by your comments to the toll-takers when I rode with you, but now am warmed and gratified that there is a larger framework of connections I was failing to see. Your courage in the service of awareness is always inspiring.

    Reply

    • Legacy, Memory and Memoir
      April 7, 2013 @ 12:51 pm

      Thanks. A wonderful teacher once said that embarrassment was often the road to awareness. Of course, I’m sure she didn’t mean the kind of embarrassment when someone ridicules you, but the kind when you feel vulnerable and have to drop your facade can be an opening.

      Reply

  5. Neva
    April 7, 2013 @ 2:21 am

    Mani, your writings are always sending me to places I haven’t been in quite a while and I signed this one with the name my mother’s family called her, as I do my paintings, because she was such an inspiration to me and you know how much I have enjoyed reading about your journey to find your mother. Love, Neva Gardner

    Reply

    • Legacy, Memory and Memoir
      April 7, 2013 @ 12:14 pm

      I love that you call your creative expression by the name of the original creative force. Thanks for your comment and your painting.

      Reply

  6. Landes Good
    April 6, 2013 @ 7:24 pm

    Xxxx your writing. Your wisdom.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *