The Zen Of Being First Off The Plane

People keep asking me how it feels to be back on the shore of the Thames after more than two weeks batting across America – some fourteen thousand miles on planes, not counting incidental car travel.  I still don’t have a good answer.  Plane travel is possibly the most peaceful thing I do, for some reason.  It’s almost meditative.  I have my security protocol down to a simple process.  I thank everybody.  Airline apps or computer kiosks speed everything along.  Self-discipline.  Walking and sitting. Observing the breath and calculating calorie expenditure.  Thoughts pass away without perturbation. I understand airports as riverbanks, cut into the world to effect motion and transience.  Hans Ibelings’ supermodern space.

I hadn’t been on a plane in a year.  Hadn’t been in America in two.  I’d forgotten what it had been like to be weightless, and how effortless travel becomes when I just relax into it and let it carry me along.  It is the most absurd privilege, and the most insanely gorgeous technological gift. I am lucky beyond all measure to be able to do it, and to have it be the most peaceful thing.

This is a picture of me partway through the door and not knowing which timezone or city or hotel or day I’m in.  I was starting to suffer fun sleep deprivation symptoms and was probably dying, but it was glorious.