The Art of Racing in the Rain – A Novel

 

The title says it all. It’s about how to race in the rain without crashing, how to live a life despite all the hardships that bring, without giving up. It is a beautiful story, told by Enzo, the dog.

Once in a while, I tell my wife, “Drop everything and read this book.” This is one of those. Maybe this is a dog version of Jonathan Livingston seagull.

Here are some wisdoms by Enzo, the dog. He is my hero now.

 

Such a simple concept, yet so true; that which we manifest is before us; we are the creators of our own destiny. Be it through intention or ignorance, our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves.

 

In racing, they say that your car goes where your eyes go. The driver who cannot tear his eyes away from the wall as he spins out of control will meet that wall; the driver who looks down the track as he feels his tires break free will regain control of his vehicle.

 

This is something I’d heard him say before: getting angry at another driver for a driving incident is pointless. You need to watch the drivers around you, understand their skill, confidence, and aggression levels, and drive with them accordingly. Know who is driving next to you. Any problems that may occur have ultimately been caused by you, because you are responsible for where you are and what you are doing there.

 

I marveled at them both; how difficult it must be to be a person. To constantly subvert your desires. To worry about doing the right thing, rather than doing what is most expedient. At that moment, honestly, I had grave doubts as to my ability to interact on such a level. I wondered if I could ever become the human I hoped to be.

 

To live every day as if it had been stolen from death, that is how I would like to live.

 

They often find it difficult to stand still, to occupy the now without worrying about the future. People are not generally satisfied with what they have; they are very concerned with what they are going to have.

 

She had been unable to look away from where the others had told her to look. It is a rare person who can hear the blunt authority of a terminal diagnosis, refuse to accept it, and choose a different path. I thought of Eve and how quickly she embraced her death once the people around her agreed to it; I considered the foretelling of my own end, which was to be full of suffering and pain, as death is believed to be by most of the world, and I tried to look away.

 

Many of us have convinced ourselves that compromise is necessary to achieve our goals, that all of our goals are not attainable so we should eliminate the extraneous, prioritize our desires, and accept less than the moon.

 

Oh, how I wished I could speak. how I wished for thumbs. I could have grabbed his shirt collar. I could have pulled him close to me, so close he could feel my breath on his skin, and I could have said to him, “This is just a crisis. A flash! A single match struck against the implacable darkness of time! You are the one who taught me to never give up. You taught me that new possibilities emerge for those who are prepared, for those who are ready. you have to believe!”

 

I suddenly realized. The zebra. It is not something outside of us. The zebra is something inside of us. our fears. Our own self-destructive nature. The zebra is the worst part of us when we are face-to-face with our worst times. The demon is us!

 

The race is long. It is better to drive within oneself and finish the race behind the others than it is to drive too hard and crash.