Above the clouds, the world looks the same in every direction.  You can’t tell if you are in California, Colorado, or Kansas.  You don’t know if a city or a desert lies beneath you.  The rivers creep silently across the earth.  The sea makes its unnoticed way to the shore.

I leaned against the window and drifted in and out of a dizzy consciousness as I flew from Oakland to Kansas City today.  The man in the middle seat rested his head on his thin hands.  His wedding ring slipped towards his knuckle   His black linen suit jacket fell forward onto bony knees.  He slept for nearly the entire flight, three and  a half hours.  When we landed, an enormous shudder coursed through his shoulders.  He pulled his body from the chair and dragged himself to the front of the plane, running one hand through his hair.

I studied the other passengers as they trudged down the aisle.  They all seemed to be still immersed in the clouds.  I waited until the flight attendant came forward to help me with my bag, then smiled at a man who paused to let me exit.  The weariness left his gaze for a moment, just a moment, as he gestured.

In the terminal, a tense clutch of people waited to board our plane, bound for Los Angeles.  A fresh crew slipped past me as I made my way to the baggage claim area.  The man who had sat beside me waited, one hand clenched, one arm crossed, eyes closed.

I don’t know what those clouds did to us, or how everyone else fared as they made their way to the city.  As for myself, I could not shake the feeling that I had gotten lost somewhere in the sky and had yet to come down.  I might be drifting still.

It’s the eighteenth day of the fifty-fifth month of My Year Without Complaining.  Life continues.


the world
gives you so much pain
and here you are
making gold of it.

there is nothing purer than that. – rupi kaur

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