POSTCARD #210: Delhi/Bangkok flight: I arrived at the place and couldn’t remember how exactly I came to be there except for the journey returning to me in flashes; scanned by X-ray machines, identified, processed, held in aircraft cabin pressure for 4 hours… then look out the window and see small green rice fields with water everywhere; 1800 miles southeast on the Asia map as the crow flies.
Placed on the ground and I have to get my things quickly, put together the parts of who I think I am in this new context of a day I missed the beginning of, and things out there are just happening anyway. Extraordinary, even so – catching up on the rebound, the momentum of the journey, the sense of something recharged, action endowed with purpose because I’ve arrived in what remains of a day that belongs to other people, those who have been here since early morning… Sorry I’m late, dropped out of the sky unnoticed – the Fall of Icarus in a painting by Pieter Bruegel.
Look at the camera please, click, passport page, thump, you have entered the Kingdom… exotic creatures made of gold. The world seen in flashes from an airport taxi in the fast lane, everything designed to get us there with the urgency of speed. It feels like the whole outside is entering the inside in large jigsaw pieces of landscape partly remembered, connected familiarity, but no time to think where, when, or who with. Glimpses of other people’s traffic congestion at the paytolls, shadowy drivers and their tinted glass and steel glint, chromium shine of new cars in pastel shades sliding slowly along in the golden light of their early-evening lives.
In here everything is locked down tight, attention captivated by the directionality of the journey I see through the front windscreen how we’re hurtling into a wormhole in space/time, plunging towards a vanishing point that never arrives. The outer world becomes neutral, non-intrusive random thought mechanisms that function at the edge of a dream pull me into the gentle whirr and flicker of thinking-about-things, and it seems like what’s happening here just could not be any more ordinary.
I find relief in that… can unwind in the Thai sense of normality, thammada, ธรรมดา, mind still buzzing as it is with the energy, the immediacy of the experience. Just fall into focus on the neutrality of no-thinking, looking for the space that’s between things. Deep in-breath and extended outbreath; the long and forever road extending deep into the horizon with great dome of sky above. Everything looks like a picture of what it is, a composition, a story told by a storyteller long since disappeared and I can’t remember how I came to be here, only parts of the journey now coming back to me in flashes, shining in my darkness at the edge of sleep in a different time zone.
“You are not in the universe, you are the universe, an intrinsic part of it. Ultimately, you are not a person, but a focal point where the universe is becoming conscious of itself.” [Eckhart Tolle]