Dec 17, 2008

Delta Flight No. DL0116


from Waking Life

It's a familiar feeling. Like swimming in spring, plunging into the water after winter, I remember this.

The room returns to anonymity, as I pack. My presence is put away, my permanence peeled back, and then there's just a couple bags in the corner. A couple things in a couple of bags and this is it. Now I own nothing but this. Now I've put everything away except some essentials, and most of those I'll hand over and let someone else handle, letting them loose and losing control.

There's freedom here, with my couple of bags and my print-out stand-by ticket, but only as I give up, let go, and let myself get carried away.

Traveling is like an exercise in learning to recognize control is an illusion, a self-delusion, something silly I imagine to make myself seem safe and seem like the center of things. But traveling, by bus or by plane, with friends or strangers, means the chance to let myself be free.

Morning comes through the window while I'm packing and this is the day. I didn't make it happen and couldn't make it go away. To myself I say, "here we are."

Here I let go. Here I let myself drift away, surrendering to the sky and the security guy and schedules I have nothing to do with. Here I trust things to work out, even though I have no control. Here I have no say, except for surrender, for unmoored hope, and for how I tell the story.