What Makes the Difficulties of Air Travel Worthwhile

1.  The city you leave, from above, at night.  Especially if there is something there you know you will miss, that you will regret leaving behind.  I know those lights shine on the dog shit and cigarette butts that litter the street, but from the window of the climbing plane I see a constellation that can never be found again.  If I return it will be to different dog shit and cigarette butts, and what I am missing will not be there.  My regrets will not be cured by coming back.

2.  A thirty thousand foot high thunderstorm in pre-dawn.  Towers of cumulus clouds boiling with silver in the darkness, revealing between them that the unrisen sun has painted the sky in layers of blue and green and orange.

3.  M. finally drifts off, her head turned toward me, features calm and lovely, sculpted by sleep.  I have the urge to take a chisel to a block of marble, but no bust could do the moment justice – I could not reach out and lay a hand on the warm cheek of a bust, there would be no drowsy blue eyes behind the stone lids.  I could not wake a bust and ask it to let me up so I can totter down the aisle towards the bathroom.

There are some things you don’t want to stop seeing, but they will all pass or pass from sight.  So these moments exert an almost unbearable pressure, and the window is always too small.

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One Response to “What Makes the Difficulties of Air Travel Worthwhile”

  1. Aaron Says:

    Points one and two are just more evidence that flying should be something relegated to hobbyists only, the rest of us should not do it. There are better ways for muggles to travel. The wonders of the sky are something that should belong to the eyes of those most willing to treasure it.

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