Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I'm typing this right now from about 30,000ft. We flew through the night, Chris and I pressed into each other like Russian nesting dolls. He's still asleep, but dawn is breaking atop the clouds and painting the world in turquoise and silky white.
I love flying. Love the sway of the jet in turbulence, the lift in my stomach when we go wheels-up, lifting into the sky. I love the earth miles below my wondering face, still excited as a child after more than 20 years of flying. 
Below me I can see what I assume is the Meditteranean Sea, dotted with a thousand sharp-edged islands and tiny villages. Some of them have been here more than 1,000 years. Walls of stone or hedge separate fields which look the size of a pin and spread across the earth below me like a patchwork quilt of history and food.
The inside of the plane is dim, cattle-car packed with people in various states of awake and asleep. Mine is the only window open, admitting the morning sunshine to bathe my sleepy face.

As we fly south now, along Italy's famous boot-shaped shoreline, fields are fewer and buildings more common. I can spot tiny boats in the Mediterranean blue, which must actually be giant trawlers or cruise ships. I still don't believe that I am here, still don't believe that I will land in a 4000 year old city where I speak approximately 10 words of the local tongue. Not even the canned air of the 767 can convince me, the too-familiar smell of recycled farts and dreams. 

The screen above me corrects my poor geography- we hav been flying over the English channel, a tall arcing indirect path that will take us now across the French countryside and almost directly over Paris. I've never been curious about Paris, too pragmatic and unromantic, but I find myself hoping to look down and see the City of Light in the early morning.
But first, I think, a nap is in order.

Flying over the Swiss Alps is when I finally get excited. Everywhere else we have passed over could be anywhere in the States, but the Alps look like no range Ive ever flown over. Wider than the Rockies and sharpers than the Appalachians, they are the proof to my tired and disbelieving mind that this is true, this is real, and we're really landing in Rome in 45 minutes.

The only real blasphemy is the refusal of joy. -"Jeffrey"


  1. Beautiful descriptions, love your writing! I'm totally living vicariously right now...


  2. You do write so well Diana! Missing you.