A Flight To Impossible Places

I am a villain.
While I could be watching the nation below me                                                                  – knobbled and streaked, dappled and scratched –                                                            I am asleep, imagining these things.

flying, Australia


There is something in me that feels sleeping on a plane is the waste of a precious gift. The opportunity for such elevation is infrequent and not given to all. As well, one never knows what one will see: inky clouds against the fading orange and pink of a magnificent sunset; a delicate string of lights in a night-black sea; a mountain peak, sitting like a newborn or a god on a scroll of clouds.

Once, I saw a circular rainbow with the shadow of my plane in the centre.

So I choose sleep when I must. I watch movies. And I stare out the window, watching our planet.

Flying from Denver to Washington recently I was drowsy. Sleep wrapped around me like the warmth of a fire. But I knew America lay outside and below me so I angled my head against the window: squares; rectangles; blotches like stains where the brown and dull green had leached out of the land; folds; creases; dark, sinewy rivers; and faraway circles so prolific they resembled a photographer’s blurs.


It was only when I saw several trees by a creek that I realised there were no others; no trees in that entire table of a landscape.

It seemed that the only end to such vast flatness could be a sheer drop, as if Edge and Nothingness might meet. Even so, as it stretched into the distance, the land became less and less substantial … so it may have simply faded away.



12 responses to “A Flight To Impossible Places

  1. You’re supposed to keep the shade down in the plane, but I’m always peeking out . . . the Milky Way appears so bright, best view ever.

  2. Window seat every time. On the occasions when one of the kids gets the window seat, I get all antsy and resentful that they’re not appreciating the show outside. Recently I took a flight from Barcelona to Budapest, and watched an electrical storm from above as we skirted the coast of France, then caught the last sunset rays on the tips of the Alps. Gorgeous.

  3. I always get a window seat whenever possible. Otherwise it’s almost like being blindfolded.

  4. I especially like the middle image. The droplet detail, color and bokeh are very good.

  5. I like staring out the window as well. …. and I get sleepy on takeoff taxi.

  6. Enjoyed your commentary and the images–well done.

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