Saturday, October 8, 2011

Airy Thought

I'm flying in a plane somewhere between Dallas and Portland on the last leg of my flight back home from Cali, Colombia. This morning, I was still riding with Emilio, as I had for the past month, It wasn't that long ago that I was still on my adventure. After all, it was only hours ago. As usual, we were racing through clogged city streets and magical countryside. We chatted casually. I gawked out the window at the South American people, their quaint buildings and breathtaking landscape. He was taking me to the airport, but I hadn't yet felt the magnitude of the day, that my trip was ending and that I might never be in Colombia again. I realize now I could go back, but know with certitude, that it is impossible to recapture the exciting freshness of the experience.

As I glance out my passenger window into the vast darkness before me and hear the monotone rush of the droning engines, I sense that my recent vivid days are like the ever-thinning jet trail behind me. I am hurtling forward in space and time, but soon to leave behind ever-fading memories.

What made this trip so valuable was that I had been fully absorbed in a mind consuming project which not only flourished during my month's stay, but also began during the previous 6 months with the planning, fantasizing and, of course, tedious studying of Spanish. I had a destination which kept me from feeling neither empty nor disoriented, nor lonely, nor obsessing excessively about my eventual mortality.
So what lies ahead? Well, at the moment Portland! But beyond that, who knows? Like a dazed airborne pilot, who has no map and feels the victim to an uncertain future, I too must make a new descent from the unknown and hope to survive by finding solid ground. Its just that I dread the turbulent route of tumbling and feeling lost in a maelstrom of disorienting saddness and self-rebuke. Sure I know, with tenacity and time, I'll pull her out, spot the horizon and bring her in. It is just the ETA that I can't predict.


  1. I feel a lot of uncertainty and sadness at returning your old normal(???) world that you've been able to escape for the past month. I do understand, reality sucks, what else can I say????


  2. As a traveler you have the capacity of perceiving all the things that people living in the place you’re visiting, can’t perceive. It’s like when you visit some friend’s house. You have the capacity of perceiving certain odors, good or bad, that the person living there can’t perceive. It brings to my mind that day visiting that gothic style church in the downtown of my city. I had never perceived how special was that place until I went with you and saw how do you tasted that place. That’s something magic. I know that maybe someday I could perceive the taste of what you actually call your normal life.

  3. Thank you, Sergio. I so much wanted to say something positive and encouraging in response to this post, but I was thrown off balance today and didn't have it in me, or couldn't find it if I did. But it looks like you said it for me.