Friday, June 6, 2008

I love to fly

From: 5/29/2007

The air in the plane is stagnant and dry. Dave leans over, his head in his hands listening to his ipod. The woman in the white tank top hovers around the first class bathrooms in her shiny lip gloss doing suggestive stretches. Looking out the window makes me feel weightless. The confinement of the airplane gives me freedom to write. I wish I could fly everyday so I would be forced into my little corner with only a book, a pen and a bottle of water. This works for me. This makes me happy. It’s so simple, so rich and nurturing. It reminds me of the endless childhood days when my mom would confine to my room for some bad behavior – before there were cell phones or computers – and all I had at my disposal was my imagination. I would write children’s stories, draw pictures. I even hung signs in the bedroom window advertising some imaginary business of which I was the owner. Sometimes it was a pet shop. Other times a dance studio. I could have a whole imaginary life in my small little corner of the world. Life is bigger now, more spacious and open and yet somehow claustrophobic. Sometimes I choke on all that space. All those people. Too many choices. Too little structure. I try to find my way as best I can without getting too lost – although I have wandered down one too many dark alleys. Recently, Tej, my yoga teacher, told me that my energy, my core is “dispersed and fragmented.” I couldn’t agree more. There are parts of me all over the place. Scattered from here to South Africa and back. Little pieces of me left in big places, on expensive boats, in shady hotel rooms, in the intangible air between here and 13,000 feet where I jumped from a plane. How could I not be “dispersed and fragmented”? I wonder what it’s like to be in prison. Could it be a healing sentence? A blessing in disguise? An opportunity to be stuck with yourself without the oppressive freedoms of the outside world? It’s kind of monk-like. I’ve always wanted to be a monk, since the first time I encountered them in my early 20’s. I can’t imagine anything more amazing then a life of spiritual contemplation. I’d want to one of those monks in charge of the monk library. One of the monks that copied the lineage of text books by hand on rice paper. I’d want to be the monk that all of the other monks came to when they had a question and I would look up the answer in some dusty rustic volume of crinkled yellow paper. God, how I love paper. The blank page is like a vortex into my own soul, a time machine into another space and time. I love to write wherever there is an inch of space. In the margins of a book. On the back of a used envelope. On a paper napkin. I’d love to fill up every blank space in the world with beautiful writing. Poetic graffiti. Linear lines of characters composing stories about why we are here and who we are and what all this means – why I am flying on a plane with air that is stagnant and dry and why I am loving every minute of it.

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