POSTCARD #105: Delhi airport: “The flight to Bangkok is delayed due to the late arrival of the incoming aircraft…” The announcement comes just as the Thai plane is arriving at Gate 8. I watch it from the window and take a photo… I’ll be getting on the same plane that just got here; same plane flying forwards and back most of its working life – how do I feel about this? Maintenance crews service the machinery at Bangkok and Delhi, the engines are always stationary – it’s the world that moves.
I need to charge my phone. Look for an empty seat next to an electric socket, plug in and get the cable organized. I don’t have to decide where to go or what to do now; I’ll be here for as long as it takes to charge the battery… tiny electron molecules zizzling around in a Nano world. I am not actively engaged in the process, more like the one who decides if this is going to happen or not. Passively involved in an activity the building provides the facilities for. It’s all taken out of my hands… sit quietly, everything is happening by itself.
Eyes closed, watch the in breath/outbreath, meditation in a seat in the Departures Hall. People will think I’m sleeping – if they notice me… busy with devices that convince us we are who we think we are. Attached to a sense of ‘me’ that disincludes all other evidence. The ‘me’ that I believe in depends on me thinking it… otherwise it’s not there. This is how it is at this point in time and space, where and when, and now and then.
It’s an emptiness, but no real silence here at the airport, a kind of buzz and static from miles of carpeting, fragments of conversations in a language I don’t understand – conceptualization is switched off, listening to the streams and rivers of curious sound. I become the listening; comfortably disconnected with things in this high-ceilinged place; mind/body organism focused in an environment where people are constantly and always just passing through, on the way to somewhere else. Trying to picture Thich Nhat Hanh walking quietly through a war zone – metta and mindfulness – everybody stops firing to let him pass…
“Life is so short, we should all move more slowly” [Thich Nhat Hanh (source)]