Monday, August 20, 2007

thoughts aboard Flight 1415

(This post was written on a napkin last night while in flight. I snapped this picture without a flash over Nevada).

I am sitting here on American Airlines, flight 1415 flying home from the Dallas-Fort Worth airport into San Francisco. I have a window seat. For a while there, I used to sit on the aisle seats so I could get out faster. But now I like to look outside and enjoy the journey.

We're flying into the sunset 32,000 feet above the earth. The sky is a beautiful bright blue with gorgeous streaks of orange clouds that melts into a slate gray which is the earth.

It feels funny to say that you could cover every solid inch of this beautiful planet at this very moment and you wouldn't find me. I'm not on it.

I wonder how astronauts feel as they soar through our galaxy and our earth looks like the moon to them. Or Pluto. It must feel so lonely. I know I would feel afraid to experience that. But, I don't feel afraid up here. I feel connected.

My sister is flying today. Out of LAX. I wonder if we are flying at the exact same time. I forgot to ask her. We fly into separate airports tonight because she didn't know I was flying today as well. I know of at least four others who are also flying today. I wonder how many other people I know who are flying at this very moment.

I wonder who has sat in my seat. I wonder if I have ever been on this exact plane before. I know I have flown on this exact same flight. Maybe I should mark it somehow in a hidden secret place with my sharpie pen. And every time I fly on American Airlines, I will sit at 15F and look to see if it's the same plane I was on before. I wonder if I know anyone on the plane right now. Or if there is someone who knows someone I know.

I wonder if a lot of people pray just before take-off. One of those quick, "please God, keep us safe" sort of prayers.

I do.

Sometimes I look at people sitting in seats nearby and I always wonder when their eyes are closed if they are actually resting or praying.

I really enjoy flying and do not fear it. well. I do not fear flying. I fear crashing. I suppose we all do. I just overheard a guy behind me say that he jumps out of airplanes. And those few moments he's free falling before his paraschute releases he says it actually feels as though he is floating. floating! What a lovely feeling.
I feel I'm floating right now.

It is such a sweet, pleasant flight. I wish this flight for you the next time you fly. I wish this for everyone.


violetismycolor said...

I don't mind the flying, it is the getting to the plane part that I hate. You seem incredibly mellow...must have been a decent pre-flight experience.

Doodlestreet said...

I really enjoy it when you write about these little experiences you have. Wonderful descriptions that you give really capture the mood, and a good dose of humor woven in there...just great. I love it when you write your stories-- I'm gunna keep you stocked up in pens and napkins!

Michele Miles said...

Oh... you are so funny -

"I really enjoy flying and do not fear it. well. I do not fear flying. I fear crashing."

Glad to have you safely back on the planet!


danny said...

Another great blog shawn! I haven't flown in a while, but I think of those things too. I've always enjoyed the window seat, the views from up there are amazing!

kelly said...

Hey Shawn, I sat next to a crazy lady that talked to herself the entire time. I thought she was at least 70 years old, but she had just turned 50! Wow! Scary. Of all the people I could have shared a seat with......ummmmm

ValGalArt said...

what a sweet little post! I have motion sickness so I wish I could feel like you do about it all but I usually feel rather barfy...

Courtney said...

Shawn! its mee courtney! i love this entry. i feel like i could have written it one day while up in the air. my thought process is always identical.