POSTCARD#268: Amsterdam – Delhi flight: KLM passenger jet, Boeing 777-200, rapidly moving into the darkness of an evening already turned to night. No view from the cabin window, it’s a nocturnal blackness from here on. I try to picture it, high above the clouds, a sliver of waxing crescent moon reflected in the silver streak of thinning atmosphere – too fast for the human eye to follow. The tarot pack Fool contemplating the sum total of everything as nothingness or ‘somethingness’. Up here there’s nothing to compare with the speed of the aircraft, only what is inside our bubble of contained ‘here-and-now’ – not ‘there-and-then’, in a past or future time, awareness of how it is, simply that.
Laptop fits exactly on the small fold down table. Wi-Fi on board and I’m busy with the relative speeds of this aircraft travelling West to East at a speed of approx: 500mph in the same direction of the Earth’s rotation which is approx: 700 mph, West to East. The aircraft can never catch up with the speed of rotation of the earth but their speeds are close enough, and if we could see the land below, there would be the sense of it all being almost stationary, a phenomenon I have noticed in relative speeds of aircraft and their surroundings.
Words appear in the mind and tumble out onto the page in structures which only need a little rearranging – the mechanism of transferring thought into syntactical forms which one can normally trust just happens by itself. But in the time that it takes to write it down, everything has moved on. Not possible to describe it… language doesn’t stretch that far – it seems as if the world is an illusion. It’s not what it appears to be, no, nothing is what I think it is…if it’s not that, then, what is it? Make a list of what it’s not, and everything on the other side of that must be what it is. A feeling that’s wordless and indefinable, or one could quite easily say God is the sum total of everything that exists.
Thought as stories of past and future created in the mind. Knowing this brings it all to a standstill for a moment… awareness of how it is, simply that. Then something triggers thought again and the narrative requires me to ‘believe’ in it before it begins. I’m teetering on the brink of what it could be, still contained inside that little space that’s neither here nor there… do I want to get swept away by this story, when I’m quite comfortable being here? It’s telling me I have to engage with it, become it… yes, but I’m also able to stay here in the space where it hasn’t happened yet.
Mindfulness of non-becoming. See how that feels, here with the hummm of the engines, and air pressure white-noise, shooshing sound and everything is always in present time. Passengers are lost in movies, transfixed by headphones and screen, sound & color, or asleep, seatbelts fastened in the shadowy gloom as we fall through the latitudes and on towards Delhi and home – thinking about things in the here-and-now, located in the there-and-then, which refer to events taking place somewhere out there in the thin air.
Keep pondering and perceiving. Most people don’t. Mostpeople — in their mostpeople kind of way — are very good at remaining as mostpeople.
Thanks Tom, the only thing that’s worthwhile these days is a careful contemplation of the phenomenon, reality, the investigation into what we really are. It’s difficult to find people who can join in the discussion, most people are mostpeopling around and if you feel like starting an argument, just start talking about these kinds of things…
Yes, tiramit, it’s really sad, what’s out there! Here in the rural Midwest, where we live, it is really the Twilight Zone; we are surrounded by diehard Trump supporters and they all own plenty of guns. People who live not far from us have posters of rifles in their front windows, boasting of the firepower inside the home… not to mention the huge “no trespassing” signs in their yards. How can you have a deep conversation with minds like that?! My pet parrots understand more… really! 🙂
I know what you mean and I think I told you I had a member of the family who was like that, diehard Wyoming North Sea oil tool pusher. Jaw clenched in confrontation with police who came to his door one day in a quiet fishing village in the far north of Scotland, and they wanted to ask him about this licence he had to carry a handgun. There was the quality of Twilight Zone all around him when you entered his space… part Indian, gone now, a dying breed…
You’re tapped into flow where the words just tumble out onto the page. Here and now, there and then, God the sum total of it all, it is wonderful to read about all this and be flying up there with you as the plane goes so fast the land below stands still. Thanks for the ride and the always astute observations. It exhilarates the thoughts, the perceiver who has the thoughts.
Thanks Ellen, “… tapped into flow where words just tumble out onto the page”, it’s how I’d like it to be every time I sit at the laptop or scribble so many notes on the back of my boarding pass I have to reduce the size of my handwriting, and next day in the daylight take a photo of it with my phone and zoom into the image to see what’s written there. It’s an incoherent urgency that triggers extensions, developments, completions and I arrive at an ending which suggests a switcharound of the beginning and it’s done. Not always like that of course, there are days of no thoughts at all and that’s ok too.
Lost in considerations
It looked as if anything could happen
And probably would
All of the accumulated what-ifs piled high, it looked as if anything could happen, then a loud creaking sound C-R-E-A-K… and reality as we know it started to fall in on itself. I was running out the door, had a plane to catch…
When it’s time to go it’s time to go. Meantime we stay where we are.
Just getting on with things…
It can be a tough assignment at times, but someone has to do it.