Thursday, June 20, 2013

Travel Day 1 SEA-->PHX

Kissing my pups goodbye
Making my way to airport #1
The sudden jolt back into my seat, the roaring of the engines, the subtle and anxious sigh of passengers around me. The twittering of thumbs, the deep inhales of nervous passengers, the anticipation of being suspended in flight catapulted  towards your next destination. I love takeoffs. As the engines came to life, my heart rate increases and fighting back the impulse to be calm and normal I thought "being sling shot into the air is remarkable! Do not be complacent!" So I looked out the window, across the laps of my fellow passengers, and watched as the raindrops streamed horizontally across the windows as we gracefully became airborne.

I'm sitting in the aisle seat next to two men in row 14. The man in the middle is large, white, with flush cheeks. Super nice guy. Simple. I asked him if he'd be more comfortable in my aisle seat but he politely delined. I sense my reasoning for asking him to switch seats has something to do with the man in the window seat.

He is dark, intelligent looking, respectfully dressed, donning worldly jewelry which expresses to me that he has a hunger to experience life. As the rain streams across the window and the engines gain speed, his fingers start to quiver. His thumb begins to thump out a beat on the top of his other hand and his fingers follow rhythmically, playing an imaginary tune set to the tone of the roaring engines. He is not complacent. He loves takeoff as much as I do. The moment the wheels break free from the forces of gravity his lips release a low and beautiful hum. A salutation and appreciation for the incredible experience of flight. He looks out the window with the same hunger for life that I do upon takeoff, eager to recognize the earth from a new perspective. 

As the plane levels off, his fingers regain composure as if suddenly self conscience of their moment of unsolicited freedom and they tighten up around each other, afraid to express openly and freely their true purpose.

I'm not one to interfere on another's personal moment, but I am curious and I hear a voice inside remind me to be present in the moment. So I lean across the man in the middle and inquire as to my suspicion. "Are you a guitar player?" I ask. He's smiles and says in broken English  "Yes, I solute this city. This is good city"

I've seen this subconscious act of channeling energy many times having grown up with a brother who taught himself to play guitar. Ive always been envious of people who feel the pulse of the world, the energy radiating through every atom, and do not regulate their expression of Self. I love how without even knowing it, people's bodies will respond and react to what they know and love, interacting with the world around them without even a consultation of the mind. 

I ask the man where he is from and he tells me his home is near Bombay. He looks out the window again, seeing Mt. Rainier peak out above the clouds and with a genuine smile on his face, like he knows something that he is not telling me, he remarks "those mountains....nothing like them. I have been in the Himalaya and there is nothing like them." I am thrilled to be sitting next to a native of India as it is a place in the map which has always enchanted me.

After chatting for a bit, I excuse myself to go stand in the lavatory line before becoming trapped by the impenitretable wall of the beverage cart. On my way, I am nearly run down the aisle by a frantic flight attendant who desperately needs to make a call on the intercom. She nervously requests a doctor or any other onboard medical personnel to identify themselves. An eerie silence falls across the passengers as two EMT's  and a nurse rush forward to an unconscious passenger seated 3 rows ahead of my vacant seat. The man eventually awakes, surrounded by his medical caregivers and seemed to be fine but it was a nerve wracking couple of minutes to say the least. 

As I sat back into my seat, focused on the team of flight attendants and medical personnel asking the man a series of questions and  inquire if anyone onboard has a glucose meter, I cant help note that he is younger than me when I hear him respond that his date of birth is July 14, 1982. He'll be 31 on the day that I return from Africa.

With everything seemingly under control, the beverage cart began its slow and painful journey down the aisle again and with a glass of the plane's finest red blend in hand, I offered a toast to my fellow travelers in row 14 and said  "may we all have safe and healthy travels!" The guitar player from India looked at me with wisdom in his eyes and said "I've got some heavy duty dates, that will give his blood sugar  (pumping his arm) what it needs! That man, ...He needs to slow down. (Taps his head) You never know.....He need to slow down"

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