My seatmate on the flight from Burlington to Denver chats me up. He complains a bit about the travel time, and then we kick around a few thoughts about what travel by Conestoga wagon would have been like. He says, You don’t come back from that trip.
True. This cross country flight is now familiar to me in the strange way of airline travel — through different airports, with people I’ve never met, juggling the odd variables of cancelled flights, rerouted paths, and so much human energy and mass, compelled to travel for so many unique reasons.
Talking, he and I figure out that we know two people in common, well enough that we can name traits we like about these people. A few hours in, I find myself in the same scenario that I’ve been in on prior flights — he pulls out his phone and then we’re talking about the Air BNB he’s about to visit, the friends he’s meeting, and the story goes on from there. True, I’m a captive audience, sandwiched between him and a young woman planning her wedding on a white board. What the heck. I’ve nowhere else I can go, and I’m hardly adverse to a few hours of laughter.
The moment I saw the brilliant, proud morning shine up over the deserts of Santa Fe, something stood still in my soul, and I started to attend. There was a certain magnificence in the high-up day, a certain eagle-like royalty, so different from the equally pure, equally pristine and lovely morning of Australia, which is so soft, so utterly pure in its softness, and betrayed by green parrot flying. But in the lovely morning of Australia one went into a dream. In the magnificent fierce morning of New Mexico one sprang awake, a new part of the soul woke up suddenly, and the old world gave way to a new.”— D. H. Lawrence