Miles from Home

China Commentary– Youthful Musings on the Environment, Culture & Development

Airborne Reflections

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Twelve hours into my flight I was well rested. And I still had two more hours to go. The stewardesses, or “flight attendants” if you despise my sexism, had shut all the window blinds. Are those “blinds?” More like lids. Little vertical oval eye lids. On my way back to China, after absorbing numerous You’re-eyes-look-slanted jokes, here I was staring out the opposite of eyeballs.

Completely opposite. Opposition. Direction. Incongruence. Inconsistencies. Buzzwords humming around my brain like a hive of African killer bees. I was crawling in my own skin, that’s the cliche. This always makes me think of The Mummy when those little scarabs unleashed in the underground temple insert themselves under The Greedy Prick’s skin and a puke-inducing lump slides its way towards his brain like a rising thermometer. That is how I felt, with the scarab at about throat-level.

I was devastated. Leaving my family the first time was one thing. I thought, then, my return was imminent. I was wrong. This time around, I know the sacrifice to come. The time between. The holidays alone. Repeating it. I get older, and time disappears.

So there I was peering out my cyclopic vertical oval eyelid: nothing. Just black. Darkness. A void, an abyss. We were over the Sea of Japan and darkness symbolized my status. Devoid of light; not in a sorrowful sense, in an incomplete sense. A page yet turned. A pen stroke yet to hit that page. A page yet to be bound. And every page was my book. My Book.

Being home, seeing old friends on their path, awoke in me a sense of– for lack of better word– order. I was envious. Routine can be a blessing; a ladder can be a blessing. It is only that moment when your foot slips on a wet rung and your body hangs suspended in mid-air that you are truly terrified. The result of the fall is unknown. The unknown is terrifying. The darkness is terrifying. Maybe that is why as children we all cradle the fear.

The uncontrollable freedom of my life terrifies me. Oddly enough. Every choice I make lies outside institutional paradigms. There is a bend or break moment as I toe my way out each limb. I could easily end up Wily Coyote tumbling branch by branch, ass over teakettle, all the way to the ground floor. I am climbing my tree in the dark, no supervisors, no emergency lighting on the floor; and I admit, it is terrifying.


Written by Miles

January 9, 2008 at 4:21 pm

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