Friday, December 10, 2010

how things happen

I have sometimes wondered if travel by flying has fundamentally changed our experience of moving from place to place. OK. That's sounds ridiculously duh when I state it so. Let me explain. Travel used to take time. The farther we'd move away from our home, the longer it would take to reach our destination.

The time was sometimes arduous. At the very least, it was tedious. But it provided a buffer. We could do little while traveling but attend to the journey--one foot in front of the other, or even miles zipping past the car window--and the changes the journey augured.

But with flying, poof, we move from here to there. In a day, we can move from relative middle class economic stability in America to the least of these, lowest caste beyond poor of India. We can move from our own cozy homes that are run just as we like and rejoin our families of origin, in which we have no control whatsoever. We can move from desert heat to clammy rain forest to bracing mountains to prairie dust--and back again by the next sunset.

With flight, there is little time to prepare ourselves for the change. And that must change the very nature of travel, of experiencing newness and wonders and change. But perhaps that's not such a different approach to life as I think it seems.

Sometimes life moves at warp speed. It always has. Much faster than we are ready for changes to take place, they happen in an instant. Choices are made, words are said, breath ceases,
lives changed.

Today, a wonderful woman died. I wasn't fortunate enough to know her well, but she was a gifted teacher, thoughtful and funny mother and grandmother, beloved wife. All persons in one, gone in a matter of short months. There was precious little time for those who love her to prepare for her passing. Because that's how life is, sometimes. Sometimes, we walk through it, with all due deliberate speed. And sometimes it is taken from us, flying past so fast that we cannot conceive of how it could have happened. Yet it already has.

Peace to those for whom the journey has been all too short. Grace for those who are still here. Love to all.



Blogger Linda said...

Thanks, Liz, for sharing this. It's an interesting connection I'd never considered before.

5:12 PM  

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