Sunday, December 15, 2013

In Flight Entertainment and Plentiful Realities

When I am in flight, I read.  I should be doing other things (most likely work related), but I read.  I read to escape close confines and too-close seat mates.  I read because it feels indulgent.  And I read because I love to enter and exit a multitude of worlds, even when I'm moving between and among multitudes of worlds. If there has been one constant in my life, it is this.  On my latest series of trips (Four destinations in ten days), I read through a series of memoirs that took me out of my space and into lives of others.

[These books included:  Orange is the New Black, by Piper Kerman; Let's Pretend This Never Happened, by Jenny Lawson--which, truth be told, should not be read in public as I laughed out loud so many times that I am certain I disturbed my fellow travelers-- and Chanel Bonfire, by Wendy Lawless--which made me alternately cringe and sigh.  I started the journey with The Circle by Dave Eggers (not a memoir)...but surreal, too close to possible reality, and a fun head game.  I would love to have the energy to share my favorite lines from these, but...suffice to say that each is worth the read.]

So, in the midst of my own journey, I engage in all of these lived experiences of others, combined with the lived experiences of those around me.  It's a strange amalgam of humanity--reality, fiction, fiction based on reality...and creates some interesting spaces to inhabit.  And these are just the "in-between" experiences, but they're all part of my own trajectory.

The tag on my cup of tea tonight read:  "The beauty of life is to experience yourself."  I am positive I agree with this, but with the addendum that the beauty of life is to experience it as a shared experience with others.  I am all down with knowing myself and being able to stand in my own skin, but I've been rocked to the core by the power of connections with the people I love of late.  I've shared cozy spaces with beautiful friends and family; I've cried as I said goodbye; I've walked forward knowing that these spaces and these tears make the moments of movement bearable.  And in the interim, I've connected in other ways with people I don't know--through shared story and unique experience, or by having to share an armrest or a space in line.

And tomorrow night, I'll experience myself in flight to a destination halfway around the world to meet up with a place I've never met before, but, thankfully, to meet a dear friend who I look forward to seeing again.  And it is all of this, place and space and time and love, which allows me to fully experience myself, in whatever form I take...all the while knowing that this form (whether it's apparent from the outside or not) shifts and changes at any given moment.