Night Flight

I can’t recall the last time I was in flight at nighttime. But then again, some days I don’t recall much of all. Such is what happens to me when there’s no external structure to my world. But flying at night is a different experience. For some reason, it’s more expansive than the already-expansive feeling of being in a plane at all. How can you not feel more abstract, more like the mist and less like the rock when you’re 35,000 ft in the air, high enough that you can sense the curvature of the earth and feel the black of space pressing its face against the atmosphere?

For those of you who understand even some of Qi Gong or some forms of yoga, you know what I mean when I say that there is no earth energy to be had and the soles of the feet feel opaque.

Maybe because there are no visuals that there’s more to night time flying. Maybe the inky black promises no universal energy either, and with out either earth or universal energy, what’s left but to spin up some of your own?

I finished one book that should have read when I was a younger fellow: “The Prophet: 26 poetic essays” (Kahlil Gibran), and I started another: “The Year of Magical Thinking” (Joan Didion).

The Prophet is a book that beautifully haunts all the familiar “ah ha!” moments of my life; life’s melody infuses the spaces between the sparse text of its pages. But then again, perhaps there is no shortcut. In any event, it’s a book I want to give to so many people. Or better, sit down and read it to them (but I fear there would be too many moments when I’d triumphantly point at the page and say “See!?! This is me!”)

Perhaps I should have read Didion first.

For all the ageless sagacity of Gibran, Didion shockingly dragged me into Now—or rather, into Then. The pearls of moments that form a lifetime, the ordinary comfort of the ordinary; the times that bind.

I’m not very far into The Year of Magical Thinking, interrupted as I was by the short layover (same plane) in North Carolina, but I suspect reading it will be a measure of the measureless subjectivity of the internal world. In the twenty-three or so pages so far, I am reminded of my own interruptions of the ordinary, my own experiences with the death and near-death of men and women important to me.

Sightless sighs, Deaf Delusions<br/> Sightless eyes, Deft Allusions

Put that in your homonymnal and smoke it. I honestly don’t know where those two lines came from, but they arrived front and center just after i ceremoniously—as I always do—closed the back cover of The Prophet. Go figure.

What to do between here and NYC? Read? Or write? Meditate until my thoughts run their course and I’m left with the same inky void outside my window seat?

We’ll just have to see, I suppose, how I spend my night flight.

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