Follow by Email

Sunday, September 6, 2015

A flying ramble

One of my favorite things to do is to travel. It is all about departures. In the quest of it, I have shunned a deep social life, avoided costly drug habits, cultivated a delight in simplicity, recoiled from shopping expenses and escaped fashion snobbery. All my spare change goes into purchasing a boarding pass. I prefer to travel by air over any other means... certainly over walking, automobile, or boat. There has always been a fascination for me with airplanes and airports. I love the hallways, the smooth and glistening surfaces, leading to gates. I love the promise of gates, portals and ramps, that breathe exotic place names. Many airports now have artworks curated in themes relating to the particular geographic region or the glories of voyaging. Competing with the windows for attention, the art hangs from ceilings, flashes across escalators and moving sidewalks, and blinks from the divisions between shopping mall-like stores. Every now and then you can find the small plaque posted in a corner that tells you more about it.
If I am lucky enough to have to tour across an airport by tram and be at eye level, nearly on the tarmac, with the planes and all the tractors and trucks feeding and fixing them, I am in pure ecstasy. The planes are like large silver babies, smooth and expectant. They promise to lift us up and deliver us to the clouds. With the change in perspective, a travelor might get around to understanding where they have been. In bidding adieu, the location and the importance (of home) is established.
We used to dress up for our excursions. I wore my best Maryjane shoes and a new smocked dress. (Okay- I have a little fashion snobbery!) Families and neighbors would all come to the airport to say goodbye.
Me and my dad in the middle of a goodbye crowd of well-wishers
Over the years I have noticed an increasing elementary style of travel wardrobe, (pajamas anyone?), and the corresponding lack of celebration in the ritual of globe-trotting. Travel feels mundane and the paradox is I attribute it to anything but mundane; to the increased fear of terrorism. This has led, as we all know, to lengthy security measures, long lines, and a lot of waiting.
How hard it seems we go to feel safe when we travel, when any movement, thus any real traveling, entails a risk... a letting go of the familiar. Now we all sit about like vegetables being packed into crates. We wait to arrive somewhere.

Post a Comment