POSTCARD#101: Bangkok Suwannabhume Airport: Looking out from the interior of this coffee shop into another interior; the glittering glass-paneled B concourse, and through that glass window to what’s out there; blue sky, a concrete horizon and planes taking off. I am contained in a transparent interior, inside a larger interior, contained in a reality construct, the steel and glass of this moment. It’s the same place I was in last time, and the time before that (the ‘Mango Tree’ coffee shop, near gates B1-B6, if you’re ever in this neck of the woods). We started coming here a year ago and Jiab comes when she’s travelling on her own… sends me phone-pics of fruity drinks and ice creams she consumes after the photo is taken. This is my departure lounge; the Delhi flight leaves from this coffee shop, rather than gate C5, which is simply the entrance to the plane. A kind of applied personification in an airport vastness, anonymity and incidental eye contact with a few individuals. I see their birth, their death, their merging in a sea of people all on the way to/from somewhere else… going or coming. We’re all just passing through.
Long columns of us waiting to be X-rayed, instructed and directed by officials guiding us into and out of security portals like water passes through rocks and stones in a continuous flowing stream. No resistance to it… the coldness of regulations; a physical sensation in a body that’s somehow become transparent. I notice how the energy feels rather than how I can ‘be’ negatively energized by it. Everything is so much not what we think it is, there can’t be any assumptions; just letting it take place and being okay about it is enough. Disengage from thinking it should be something other than what it is, and everything that’s currently bothering me about that disappears for a moment – long enough to be able to see it’s possible to let go of all the shoulds and shouldn’ts completely… the peace that’s in that.
Surveillance cameras protrude into the space I’m in and suck out all data, send it to a room containing video screens, dark and gloomy, where security people with bulged-out eyes scan the images of the crowd, zoom-in, zoom-out. I feel I’m being looked at, studied… I’ve just been jostled slightly, pockets rifled. I can’t see them but I know they’re there. This whole thing is a performance, there’s a sudden urge to do a song-and-dance act. Maybe it’s a more serious drama production; Japanese Kuroko stagehands, dressed in black, appear on stage with the actors and rearrange the scene as the play is going on. They’re there for everyone to see but become invisible. The mystery of how we can be unaware of things in plain sight – mesmerized by politicians, illusionists’ sleight-of-hand; everybody acting out the story of their lives without questioning it, improvised dialogue according to the karma of causes and conditions.
Coming near to the end… the last camera, passport stamp, thump! And I’m suddenly through the barrier, blinded by the lights of the glitzy duty-free, gold Rolexes, impossible jewelry and stumbling towards my place in the coffee shop. Waiting for the flight to be called, the great leap up into the sky. A heightened feeling, a quickening, I know all this is happening – mindful alertness, awareness creates an awareness, aware that it is aware…
“The vastness created these human circuitries in order to have an experience of itself out of itself that it couldn’t have without them.” [Suzanne Segal, Collision with the Infinite]
‘… awareness creates an awareness, aware that it is aware’ – reference: Is Awareness Aware Of Itself?