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UP, UP AND AWAY
Yesterday, it was so clear you could see forever, and when you're 15,000 feet up in an airplane on a clear day, you very nearly can. It was overcast in Frankfurt when we took off but as we headed north the clouds dispersed until we were flying over Denmark: lots and lots of very flat land surrounded by lots and lots of water. What struck me most about the sun-slathered landscapes was how foreign the land looked. It didn't look as if it was LAND. It didn't look, by the edges of the shorelines, as if it continued down into the water until it met up with blind cavefish in the dark. It looked like a skin laying flat ON the water, flat on the top of it, cradled rocking on the surface. It looked as though it could tip up like a plate if you poked one side with your finger. It looked like it was floating or, perhaps, fitted snug to the rippled mirror surface of the liquid surrounding it.

I would like flying a lot better if I didn't get motion sick or vertigo or have these horribly stubborn thoughts about plane crashes and whether or not I should request to move my seat nearer the wing because I remember Mythbusters saying it was safer there. I've flown a lot in my life, but I've never really liked it and the dislike gets a little larger every year. I'll never get to point where I wouldn't do it, like one of my aunts has, but it's something to endure for the sake of what it gives me: the avoidance of weeks on a boat in order to get somewhere far away that I want to be. Motionsick on an airplane is NOTHING compared to what I would suffer on a boat. I get queasy just thinking about it. Poor Anders, who would love to go on a cruise or retire to live on a sailboat in Portugal.

What strikes me, as the jet shoves itself against the pressure of the air and surges up into the sky, isn't how powerful it is, how big and loud and amazing that we humans manage to propel ourselves about the planet this way, it's how SMALL we are, up there. Just a mote moving, against the heavens, spearing through the clouds toward sunset, up where the cloud people might be found, if you believe in cloud people, and if you ever read James and the Giant Peach, how could you not? You can SEE their fantastical cities when you're up there, flying where, really, you have no right to be.

We circled the Öresund to the Swedish side and soared back over the water toward Copenhagen, giving us an awesome birds-eye (ha! had to do it) view of the bridge and the disconcertingly strange blossoms of the white spiky windmill field sprouting from the water near the Danish shoreline. Far below us, birds were flying. Talk about small! Boats were cruising up and down the sea lanes but only one sailboat sat listless and bedraggled in the water. It was completely still, no wind for the sails or the windmills, except the wind of our passing, high above.

Really Great Writing Out There Right Now: The broken fabric of moments
 sleepy
mood: sleepy
music: mechanical humming, burbling tank filter, TV murmur, clickity keys


Comments

the wind of our passing

eww, liz! don't fart in the plane! :-)

haha! SOMEONE was, and it wasn't me!

Sweet Liz. Your descriptions are graphic and alluring.

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