May 16, 2011 2 Comments
Sometimes people say things so strange and so nakedly positive that you smile and carry their words with you for the rest of your life. On landing at DFW at the end of a flight from Detroit, as a procession of passengers and I passed by the cockpit and deboarded the plane, a woman whom I had sat next to for the entire flight turned to the pilot, smiled, and said, “What a beautiful experience.” She didn’t thank him mechanically, as I did; she commented on the pleasure of flying. She complimented the pilot on his art. She experienced the flight as a child might, with innocent wonder, yet she spoke of it with the gravity of an adult who has seen many wonderful things and who comments only on those her experience tells her are transcendent.
Moments before her comment to the pilot, this woman had turned to me as we began to file toward the front of the plane and told me to “take care.” On this three-hour flight from Detroit neither one of us had uttered a word to the other. Yet despite this lack of any connection, even a fleeting one, this woman felt compelled to wish me well. She smiled so tenderly at me. I don’t know why. She did so even after I dumbly made her repeat herself because I didn’t understand what she had said.
And hers was the middle seat!
Recently I got back from a trip to Puerto Rico. I haven’t had time to write anything of quality about it, but I did want to share a few pictures.