Thursday, August 02, 2007

When I get scared on an airplane it feels like the plane were made out of paper and could be blown apart at any moment. It shakes because the wind is smashing against it and we are trapped in the tube and there is nothing to do about it. I grip the armrests tightly when it dips and when the gravity pulls on my stomach I lower my body in hopes that bending with these forces somehow wills them to straighten up. A kind of solidarity. I look around and most people are sleeping or reading.

Flying used to be exciting, full confidence in the machine and the people who fly them. I would fly to Oakland from Seattle to see Amy, and every time I stepped off in Oakland I was struck by her presence not one to remember faces and I never had pictures. Every time it was new and I would think all I have to do is sit here for the next hour and fifteen minutes, no necessary alertness to keep us in the sky.

It helps if I look out the window, amazed by perspective and engaged in trying to connect the shapes and colors of the fields and cities with the fields and cities I know. Maybe it’s a distraction or simply trying to remember what it was not to be scared.