On this most hallowed of eves my world rotated on its axis (okay, maybe it was the plane simply banking after takeoff) before changing irrevocably. I’d expected as much, even welcomed the chance to live with my father (I was reserving judgment regarding life with my stepmother and stepbrother). My tears, on the other hand, were totally unexpected.
It was all Lucia’s fault.
As rogue as I was feeling, I’m not sure I could have navigated that life-altering journey without my siblings. There was safety in numbers. We numbered four in all: my older sister Lynda, my younger sister Lucia, and the baby of our broken family, my brother Chris.
As the plane rose fluently into the atmosphere, the excitement of the moment caused butterflies in my stomach; or was that the product of an unfamiliar rapid ascent? In just moments we were flying above the clouds!
My Irish twin was silently crying, her brown, almond-shaped eyes pools of water overflowing with emotion. My bubble of excitement went flat, more like a tire steadily losing air than a balloon bursting. I teetered on the edge of a wise crack for a good five seconds before I quietly turned back to my kinder, gentler view of the world. My own tears could no longer be contained.
How was I to know at sixteen that journeys are the midwives of thought?
Perhaps that first journey set the stage. Ours is not to question. I have come to recognize in the ensuing years that those first few pivotal moments of flight usually invite introspection for me, especially if I manage to snag my preferred window seat. My thoughts can run the gamut of emotions, depending on the latest chapter in my life or my reason for flying. Sometimes I skim through all the chapters in those moments during takeoff; others times I see nothing but possibilities as a new destination awaits.
I am keenly aware of the poetry of motion during takeoff; it is so symbolically transformative. Breaking my earthly bonds via that complicated mechanical monstrosity attached to those tiny propellers inevitably and sublimely encourages me to consider shifts in my own life, in my own thinking. To soar above that which looms over my life suddenly seems possible considering a one-million pound mechanical monstrosity can accomplish such a feat. Fortunately I have a few pounds to spare.
The big picture certainly comes into focus thousands of feet above the earth. How can it not with that view.
Yes, by now (as loyal blogees) you're fully aware I’m a romantic. I see poetry where Jim sees propellers and engines. I feel insignificant and introspective and sometimes insane with thoughts where Jim simply feels sleepy.
From my window seat, I also see order and logic in a once chaotic landscape. Streets are now part of enormous planned grids rather than aimless blocks of haphazard homesteaders.