Mileage matters

If you have an interest in the domestic passenger automobile you will recognize at a stroke the reference to mileage.  To recap (for those of you who hesitate) it’s the summary assessment of a used vehicle.  It is the sine qua non of a used vehicle. It amounts to the historic enquiry, “Has the horse been ridden hard then put away wet?”  There is no escaping the element of mileage when it comes to evaluation. Of anything.

There are however exceptions.  Wayne Diotte for example, the man behind Macrobiotics Canada. To explain, as I commented to Wayne today when we casually encountered one another at Equator Coffee Shop, he is a vulgar display of strength!  When I saw him approach where I was seated (pointedly with my stick at hand), he looked to be the same as he were years before when I had last seen him.  And yet he is the same age as I (75).  Notwithstanding this small compliment, he looked remarkably healthy, fit and well turned out.  I was indeed shocked to learn we were “of an age” so to speak (a conjunction I find far less abusive than numerics). And while I happened to have taken several photographs of him as he spoke, I do not intend to share those photos at this time.  There is no reason whatever to provide any basis for analysis of my appraisal. I have instead attached as the “featured image” an edited photo taken by me from my desk overlooking the nearby meadow and river (the flowers are fake) in hopes of capturing the intensely thoughtful (and perhaps moderately mournful) mood of this particular monologue.

Meanwhile in hopes of limiting my continued decomposition I am ploddingly consuming a sliced green apple and a handful of St. Albert cheese curds. This is an admittedly disheartening subject, having to confess the youthfulness of another “of an age” who by the way during the entirety of our somewhat prolonged conversation stood upright and perfectly erect while my partner and I blissfully (and dare I say, ignoranty) remained shamefully seated adjacent the mellow fireplace, listening albeit keenly.

Comparisons, I trust you’ll agree, are a potentially dangerous preoccupation.  Mine is not an ambition to compare the effects of similar mileage upon my friend or me. Instead I wish only to divert the commentary from an examination of the similarities or dissimilarities to address instead what is often the unpredicted consequence of mileage.  Mileage will never be a boost to any exploration other than its indisputable value of experience. Even the attribute of 150,000 Kms to a used vehicle is not without its repercussion of praise. Its hearty evolution and mere survival contributes to its bouquet. As for the condition humaine the feature of mileage adds to the approval as well.  Certainly an old vehicle is not one to cross the entire continent, but it is nonetheless useful. In fact my friend Wayne supplemented his wisdom today by accounting that historically (and as a means of fiscal responsibility) he drove only used cars which were of some considerable age.  Now I have to admit he said in the same breath that he purposively avoided used cars with high mileage – an observation he employed to strengthen his conclusion that “mileage matters”  (which he punctuated by adding, “to all of us”).

I must however withdraw from Wayne’s conclusion, not by contradicting him, rather by modifying his direction to assert that, yes, mileage matters, but not necessarily in a limiting or undesirable way.  I think mileage matters in my experience because it has afforded me (in my old age, to be clear) the privilege of removal from a wealth of social obstructions. It has affected not only the way I think but the way I speak. I am for example no longer hesitant about an immediate conclusion.  I haven’t any longer the time for hesitation!  It is not that I intend to be abrupt (although I am quite certain at times I am); rather that I wish to skip to the end, to overcome the annoyance and complication of things; basically to get to the point.

Getting to the point is of course not the highlight of mileage.  It is merely the success of having got there.  The tires may be worn; the engine has its hiccups; we’ve always got to stop at the gas station to use the can.  But there is an unmistakable value and allure to the old, tired beast.  It may inadvertently attract attention for its blast of smoke and corruption of the air, its heedless noise or its damaged carcass.  But amazingly it gets ahead and going.  And, Oh, the stories to tell of the ventures along those many winding roads!


Post Scriptum:

January 5th, 2024
8:59 AM

“In my experience Macrobiotics with all it’s intricate and fascinating possibilities is a Great Art…‪#‎theartofliving‬ with a sense of freedom, a kind heart, vitality, generosity of spirit and respect for the constant interplay of the finite and infinite that is surrounding and within us all t time” WD ’77

” we humans are problem solvers; we reach the door of wisdom by solving the right problem at the right time.” WD ’73

” May everyone everywhere find all of their most important doors and go beyond without hesitation” WD ’73

” knowledge and wisdom are mere amusements of the mind; until and unless one can use them to arrive at ones chosen destination” WD 73