airplane windows: a reflection
May 30th, 2019
I've been on many flights before. perhaps hundreds. most probably hundreds. looking out on the waters approaching Miami, i possessed a different set of eyes; those filled with the wonder brought about by searching.
You asked me if i love looking out the window in airplanes. truth be told, i was almost surprised by the question. of course, i thought, doesn't everyone? but love does not denote the casual enjoyment of a glance. it is so different, up there, in the sky; so different and ethereal with a hint of ephemerality taken from the speed of one's travels that most slip into a numb intake of stimuli. but to love it? to love the act of consumption? i almost forgot to check, but when i did, i did not view- i searched.
clouds. always clouds. the mere sight of them- and thought of them now- filled me with such a sentiment as words cannot describe. i cannot even attempt.
to dance with them, to feel them twisting about in my longing arms, to be absorbed and held by them, to share an intimate embrace...
so grand are they, yet unassuming, so fragile, yet enormously mighty, so inviting, yet abrasive...
i watched the clouds for a long while, as an infant might upon witnessing any spectacle of nature for the first time. the sense of novelty, awe, and deep endearing reverence nearly overwhelmed me. i took some videos to show you, or perhaps that is how i justified to myself my taking them, as they were more clearly for my own benefit; however it is of no importance now, as videos cannot convey everything one would wish.
after an eternity that lasted but a second in my mind, we, the plane and its cargo, came upon a clearing in the brush, so to speak. a bit in the distance was a wall of rain over the deep blue. above it, and from which this wall was pouring forth, hung an equally profound wall of clouds. a single lightning strike came and went in much less time than a flutter of the heart, obscuring for a brief moment all its surroundings. so unique it was that i can almost see it frozen in my mind's eye: a solitary bolt, brilliant, breaking through a suddenly darker mass of cloud by comparison, jagged- as such raw energy is apt to be, and so unconcerned and beautiful in its own right that although it stretched downward, it did not reach the vast expanse of water waiting below.
the whole scene bespoke grandiose power, yet paradoxically conveyed and filled me with the utmost peace. No ships out there, on the water. some inexplicable reassurance settled in my bones upon being reminded that such exquisite displays of nature still occur without an audience.
towards the coast, past the storm, boats appeared like serpents in the ever brightening teal expanse. large dark shapes sat looming underneath the surface like a secret; visible, and in fact very loud, from the air, though unbeknownst to shoregoers.
everyone is so amazingly, wholly, and yet probably unwittingly, focused on the water. buildings. islands. everything calls out to the sea. the shore was crowded not only with those seeking a swim or a tan, but also with cities and streets and the hustle bustle of life.
the tallest skyscrapers lay closest to the water. they stuck out harshly from the sprawling arena below. they were not ugly, but rather jarringly unnatural. why do they build them so high? what are they reaching for? even if those occupants and architects had a god, they know they cannot reach him. what stops us from going down into the earth? it is just as dangerous. surrounded unceasingly by earth, the calm and the peace would equal that of being surrounded by sky. it must be... or is it that... we are scared to reach inside ourselves? wishing to reside closely with neither ourselves nor the land; we cannot be so intimate with that which we have destroyed.
these were my thoughts, querido, as i searched to discover my own answer to your question.
Yes, i have decided.
i do, in fact, love looking out airplane windows.