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Flying

Flying.

I don’t ride roller coasters. I don’t ride tilta whirls, sizzlers, pirate ships or rocket flippity-do-das… But I fly. I fly to get places that would otherwise take a day or two of alternate travel. I happen to fly quite a bit lately thanks to my generous cousins and their hard-earned United Airlines perks.

Whenever I fly I contemplate my mortality, and I spend a large portion of the flight analyzing my life – looking inward and outward and inward and out… You get the drift.

Turbulence.

I hate it. It amplifies my contemplation of mortality. So I breathe, meditate, pray, and think of something a friend once told me. She’s a pilot and said, “Turbulence is just like driving on a gravel road. That’s all it is!” Ok, ok. So I breath and imagine gravel. But I grew up on gravel roads and I don’t know about you, but my gravel roads didn’t have sudden drops in altitude! But I’m here. I’m alive.

And all of the sudden the plane slows in the air and seems to level out, and the sun hits me in the eye through my cubby hole window. And out across the sturdy and flexible wing I see beauty. It’s a blanket of billowy, snowy clouds covered with light and I’m overwhelmed with tears in my eyes.

Perhaps I’m emotional and highly sensitive right now, or I’m impressed by this glory in the sky. I’ll go with both.

So, I’m soaring like a bird, or a mouse in the belly of a bird (this is an eagle we’re talking about), and I’m looking inward and outward and inward and out…

Somehow things look different from way up here. The clouds take the shape of ancient cities and my life’s worries seem so distant, so far away. And I actually like it.

As the flight progresses and I approach my destination I will undoubtedly be scribbling like mad my commitments to self to be better at A, B, and C. I’ll re-clarify my goals with sketches and descriptive words on notepaper. But, for now, I will rest in the lightness of my soul.

I’m a mouse in the belly of a bird…

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3 Comments

  1. What a mixture of danger and beauty when flying – it really can be a such a great experience in minimizing your worries because hitting turbulence makes you think about one thing: life.

    It really helps to put things in better perspective. Great article!

    Jay

  2. This makes me look forward to an airplane trip in a few months, despite the trepidation :D

  3. Makie – You’ve really expressed a universal experience in such a beautifully poetic and tangible way. Reading stuff like this reminds me that I am not alone through my own personal journey. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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