Special Delivery

Many are asking what I am doing at this stage of my journey to renewing my driver’s license.  I have 7 women and 2 men ready to buck the system and marry me if that what it will take.  I have had many unconventional ideas from taking my birth certificate and my old social security card to the DMV and getting a photo ID just like I was 16 again and then going back to take the written and driving test like a teenager to get my license in the name on the original birth certificate.  And many of you are as anarchistic as I am saying “screw it, put white light around your car and just drive with good intentions”.  So I have an arsenal of creative ideas as I slog my way through the crippled system that governs us with my “troublemaker lawyer”.  And yes it would be easier to just drive and say screw it but I am interested in seeing if this system we call democracy will work for me at this most basic level.

Right now I have friends who drive me and I have ordered a magnetic sign for my car which arrives this week that says “Driving Ms. Maya”.  I am working on some pieces to send to the newspapers, on one persons story of how the law is not on my side and in fact my story is like thousands who are lost in the new Photo ID system.  I will share these letters with you soon.  I am writing my political officials.  I am speaking out.  And I am completely in the game and jumping all the hoops, one after the other in order to see what is possible when I align with our governing bodies.

So, this is how it stands.  Today I fill out 5 pages of questions from the FBI.  I also explain to them the situation I now have with my fingerprints. That translates as “I have no acceptable fingerprints”.  It seems as though they are a little “iffy” due to curling irons and potters wheels and that they may be rejected.  If they are rejected then after waiting nine weeks to hear from the official FBI with a letter that says “we hate your fingerprints, do them again”, I take the letter, get them redone and send the paperwork in once again and wait nine weeks to see if I am acceptable.  Oh yes and I pay allot of money each time to the FBI.  This is a process that could take up to …yes….27 weeks.  So my maverick lawyer Martha who is one of the nicest people you could meet, filed an appeal to the district court of Denver for altering the original name change that was part of the debacle in the first place.  A faster process she thinks.

Now when Martha filed this appeal she in no uncertain terms was told it was “unprecedented and had not been done”.  Yep a first time appeal.  So, the appeal was filed anyway which gives us a chance to stand before an official court judge and plead my case.  Martha will stand in for me and I will be on a speaker phone.  Soon I hope.But then there is Christmas and then there is New Years and so on and so on.  So I hold a vision every day for a kind judge who is not distracted by the holiday and who cannot wait to put me behind the driver’s seat.  Should I tell him the name of my car is a Rogue?

So…what does all this detail say.  All these twists and turns, the closed doors no one has tried to open before?  What does it say that one woman, with one car, who has a perfect legal record, is highly educated, with money to even get a lawyer, that this one person in over 300 million people in the USA, cannot get an answer to a simple thing like changed the spelling on a document that is nearly 10 years old?

If this is my fate, to be told that I might fall into what is termed the “gray zone” and never get a driver’s license because no one can figure out what to do with me and the law has no provision for such a situation, then what about the masses of people in our system that are disabled, could not afford a lawyer if they needed one, who have no one advocating for them and become unbelievably confused and hopeless and give up?  What about them?

What my personal journey reveals is that our system is a system of smoke and mirrors, is flawed down to the core and the basic fabric of our judicial system.  It means that the power of the law is now being primarily dispensed by the very folks who do not have most of the rights of the privileged few who make the laws.  These are people who are underpaid, have no insurance, and who are angry at the very system they work for.  That there is a perception of power in the workers who are, in fact, powerless people who stand between a little person like me and the Judges who most of the time never hear a case like mine. They stand there to hold the energy that creates the fear. This psychotic truth extends to our police force, our military, our social security system, our insurance companies, churches, hospitals and beyond.  The truth is that the sheep keep the sheep in line.  A brilliant orchestration by the elite few.

So, I am bringing a few things to this reality.  I have a voice.  I am a writer.  I have the time, the money and the energy to not give up, which is precisely what the system wants.   I will not do what they want.  I will not go away.  Because this drivers license is about my freedom to go where I need or want to go.  And, just like Occupy Wall Street, we all need to look at all the ways our freedoms are slipping through our fingers and we do not even see it happening until we wake up one day and we live in an occupied country where the sheep are now lined up for slaughter.

Behind my humor, which is just as true as all I have written here, is a call for me to become awake, aware and responsible to use my voice even if it about getting a Social Security card, renewing a driver’s license, marrying a woman if I want to, calling my local newspaper, writing my congress person.  I think cleaning my house or going to the mall to get one more Christmas gift can just wait don’t you think


Note:  I would be greatly interested in your feedback about this blog entry.  Please comment below or email me at mayachristobel@gmail.com






A Gypsy Joke

One of my friends and I were staring at each other in bewilderment over a steaming cup of tea while sitting in a nearby cafe as she burst out laughing. “Ok, there is a joke in this!”, She said. “What is a gypsy without a car?”.  We both howled.

So, what IS a gypsy without a car in our 21st century?  Well, I am finding out the myriad of answers to that odd question since at this moment the Universe has orchestrated a challenge for me of not having a valid drivers license which does curtail ones travel plans.

Let me back up briefly.  Gypsies are nomadic and mobile at heart.  They need to pack up and relocate or wander at any given moment and carry with them simple and transportable belongings.   They need to be ready to go the direction the wind is calling.

In another century, if someone came into a Gypsy camp and said, “Well, we are not only taking your gypsy wagons away from you, but we are taking your horses too!”, I think there would have been a mild uprising at the very least.  So, in this moment of history, not having a driver’s license, when everything I have packed for travel is in my car is, at the very least, is just a tad inconvenient.

In short, here is how it happened and much like Julie, in the movie “Julie and Julia” who had to confess to her public when one of her recipes simply failed or she could not dress a proper chicken, there is a twinge of embarrassment.  But, it is just part of the journey.  My oddly difficult driver’s license renewal sage to date goes like this:

I moved my few things to North Carolina.  I needed a new drivers license.  I stood in lines forever.  I was first asked if I wanted to donate vital organs after a car crash and then they checked whether I do in fact have hazel eyes and am 5’5”, which I had to correct since it seems as I am shrinking and am now 5’4”.  And then they asked a question that 10 years ago I was not asked:  “What is your social security number?”  Happily I gave it to them.  Instantly, they said I could not have a driver’s license since somehow my name on my social security card did not match my current license.  Really?  Can you explain that please?

So, I started on the road to OZ, winding my way through what has become the most convoluted justice system I could ever have imagined.  First, there were small-minded people who did not know answers and did not know who had the answers and then I got lost down the rabbit hole of our Social Security system.  I didn’t think I was going to get out of the building alive and for a split second I thought I was on this year’s new TV series The Walking Dead.

The glitch seems to be one that no one in either civil or national governing positions has the answer to solving.  It was even suggested that I just become 16 years young again and start over….after 40 years of driving…and take a written driving test and then a physical driving test so I could get my PERMIT and drive with some “responsible” 21 year old in the car of choice.  So while I was in Colorado, the state my last official driver’s license was from, I did just that.

I went to get in line to be given the written test.  I picked a number and the ocean of difference between the number I was given and the number flashing on the wall was….three hours worth of unhappy people.  I sat.  I waited.  And then I thought I could go shopping for the next two hours and not sit here.  So, I stepped outside.  Across the street I saw “A-1 Driving School”.

I went in and shared my plight and they said that they gave written drivers tests and I could take one with them for $20.  Then I could take it back over to the DMV and get in the front of the line.  That was a no brainer.  But, the wonderful woman took one look at me and asked me when the last time I took a test was, sensing that I might be just a wee bit behind on knowing driving laws or information, which of course, every pimply faced new driver has to know.  Like is it a right or a privilege or an honor to drive a car?  Now that is certainly debatable in my mind.

I was seated in an empty drivers education classroom right next to the woman’s eight-year-old daughter doing homework on her laptop and…5 rescue dogs.  Fabulous dogs, each suffering from some unadoptable malady; One leg, one eye, too old, no fur.  They were precious and each sat at my feet while I discovered what I was up against on the test.  By the third question I was in trouble.  When was the last time I even thought that I needed to treat a motorcyclist who is merging onto the interstate from an on-ramp any differently than any other moving vehicle?

I flunked.  The woman was sad for me.

She said I could take the test again and mentioned some cautions and some of the new air bag regulations that she whispered in my ear just before going back in the room with the dogs.  By the third question I was in trouble again.  So, I broke out my secret weapon, my pendulum, just in case the testing rule of “when in doubt it is always choice “C”, did not seem just right.

So, here I am with a child asking me if I had ever driven a car before since I so obviously knew nothing about driving, with the one-legged pointer named Brownie licking my toes through my sandals and me knowing that they might be calling my number over at the DMV and I would loose my place in line.  I stared at the last question.  “How many feet back from the crosswalk at a stop sign do you need to stop your car with or without any people in it?”  Ugh!

I did not flunk.  I thanked the pendulum, grabbed my test that had “passed” on it and ran back to get to the front of the line at the DMV.  Same questions about my organs, but looking good again and then the assistants face dropped.  “It seems you need to deal with the Social Security problem you have miss.  May I suggest you get a lawyer?”   Sigh.  I felt like Brownie the one legged dog.

I drove back to my friend’s house in her car, certain that every cop on the road knew who I was and would then be throwing me in the Poky.

So, I am now back in Asheville, looking online for a good Social Security lawyer and allowing my 28-year-old daughter to chauffeur me, which I must admit, is not so bad really.  But, what is the lesson here?  Lessons abound every day, but THE BIG LESSON is forming itself over time.  I have had ample opportunity to practice a new kind of patience, with a bureaucratic process that is like holding a difficult yoga posture with people who don’t like their jobs and are short, befuddled and down right rude.  I imagine I will be Gandhi by the end of this legal process.

I get to practice being happy while standing in line for hours only to be told I need slightly different paperwork and a new set of fingerprints since I could be a uni-bomber. I close my eyes often while in the waiting places and find gratitude that I was not in the salon when the angry father shot and killed eight people this week, but simply acknowledge that I am only waiting for the “privilege” to drive a car in the United States.  Then the entire process becomes easy.

But, I have learned the most about patience and understanding with myself.  Self love in the midst of floods of thoughts about how I could have known this before or done a dozen things differently.  I become happy for the simple truth that I do my best and sometimes there are surprises in life that give me the opportunity to align just a little more with the truth of who I am…with or without a driver’s license…with or without a car.

I am certain this will be solved by Christmas and I will have the choice to be back on the road.  I now have the creative opportunity to drive with friends, maybe find a traveling companion who wants to explore my next stops with me, stay put and write, which is a great idea or fly where I need to go, which is most likely not going to be my choice.  I know that whatever changes I need to make to accommodate this tiny inconvenience will be part of the flow too and will lead to something I had not expected; a new friend, or a surprise that could not have happened unless I had had this little bump in my road.

So, I will let you know my creative solutions as the story unfolds. And I will share the punch line to “What does a Gypsy do without a car?”  Any ideas?