It is good to sometimes go, travel alone, find myself in extended solitude that asks me to face an empty hand, a quiet bed, a table for one and no one to pour the tea.
This solitude opens me, jigs my mind, shakes things from the far side of my limbs, gives me permission to think things I may not ordinarily think. In short, though I rarely welcome my leavings at the entrance side, I generally come babbling out the exit experience... reshaped, renewed and full of imaginings.
Going to Calvin was no different.
For the next week, I'll share the journey as I remember it, or as I was careful enough to write down along the way. To start, I'll give you this five-line poem that I found at Chicago O'Hare. It was just there, waiting to express what it feels like when life seems predictable and all wrapped up and figured out... only to be turned on its head, opened and directed towards possibility. The poem is called "Belle Nanon", which has a bit of French history behind it, but which is more simply a kind of pink rose.
at this late hour,
that I should begin to
blush, surge, open
to young dew.
Later, on the plane, I found another poem, after the woman next to me shut the window shade so I could take a picture of the tray table. I'm sure she was wondering if I was suffering from a lack of lunch. I tried to explain that I wanted the picture to illustrate something I was thinking of writing.
Then the poem, which is not what I was thinking of writing, presented itself. Here it is...
Fasten seatbelt while seated, not while
kneeling yawning chatting spitting kissing
standing or (God forbid) walking to the lavatory.
If you fail to secure yourself and experience
unexpected turbulence, you can always use
your bottom cushion for flotation device.
That's it. Two little appetizer poems. Tomorrow I'll share some that I found when I got to my hotel and walked across the street to eat alone at the Red Sun Buffet.
Tray Table photo by L.L. Barkat.