it is the end of summer, finally, tho it is still really hot, temp. in the high 90s. but along with the end of summer comes the end of summer travel. i'm reminded of the twins deep anxiety and excitement today when i looked at the photos kyle kaufman posted on his blog.
i love the perspective altitude gives me. my friend p. is a small-aircraft pilot and we frequently jaunt around n ca. i recall a gorgeous night flight over the san francisco bay last winter. we flew over the city and the golden gate bridge that night.
but i did not fly until my late teens. and the first plane i flew in was a cessna used to ferry skydivers. nope, didn't jump out of it, just took a joyride to watch a pair of jumpers leap out. loved every second of that very short flight.
my next flight was on a commercial jet, my first one, at age 23. i was a bit freaked by it, its utter mass, and the number of passenger aboard. it was a relatively short flight, 5 hrs, and after a couple of beers i was really digging the sensation, and the sights outside of my window.
but then in my late 20s i had a small breakdown, which took a couple of years to fully recover. flying scared the shit outta me. then anna and i planned our first trip to visit her grandparents in sweden. i was more or less myself but still pretty fucking weirded out by the most common shit imaginable. and this was my first international flight.
well, instead of making this a confessional of self-help bullshit, i loved flying again. hated, and still hate, the jetlag, but i love the anxiety and excitement fuelled by looking out the window of a plane at 35 thousand feet. on our return journey we went directly over greenland. anna had the window seat and gestured for me to look out. what i saw was a desolated, and utterly breathtaking, view of an environment so old that one knows that people matter very little on this planet. we could disappear tonight and the world would thrive.
i got a shock of isolation and loneliness looking at water so deep and clear that i could see the land holding the water slope out and fade into the blackness of deep. i needed to sit down, and i was already doing just that. for there is nothing to do on an 11 hr flight than to sit down. and yet, i was thrilled by it all, everything.
the flying and the land below.