I’m sitting in an airport. I’m going to be stuck here for a few more hours. I am sitting on a fairly comfortable couch, the tri-lingual announcements echo overhead in one, two, three, and I sit here. It isn’t only true that happiness is found in unexpected places; I would say now that it is more easily found in unexpected places, that the lack of expectation creates a space for it. Expectation really is just pre-meditated resentment, and if I find myself in a place where no expectations apply…
I just finished a lovely book, a labyrinthine voyage of a book, I have a terrible cold and I’ve slept about four hours. Our plane keeps getting delayed, one, three, five hours away. I move through the airport as if through a foggy day in a Sherlock Holmes novel, as pleased as him with its shroud and hidden artifacts. This time is all mine. Some day I will have enough inner peace to create such time for myself, such fully available time, but for now I am content to accept it like a gift.
I hadn’t intended to stop here, but stop I did, so yes, I take off the cycle clips and stand for a moment, this is as close as I will get anytime soon to a month in a convent in the Pyrenees. There are multi-national wall plugs but no internet, or rather no internet I am willing to pay such extravagant fees for, and for this too I am grateful. I have tissues (with lotion, because my family loves me), I have books (one more print one, at least four audiobooks, and six or seven e-books), I have company I talk to or be quiet with. How churlish I would be to criticize this perfectly formed moment simply for happening here, at this time and place.
Of this time and place I could say this: it holds everything, like all time in airports, I could go anywhere, the Aeroflot flight is gone, El Al may still be there, Bujumbura is not so far; I have no desire to go anywhere except, eventually, home. The noises are just rustlings that make up the silence in my head, the place (here, home, I’ve flown out of here a million times, only now I leave here to go home) is somewhere but most of all it is Airport, and so nowhere at all. Stairs zoom soundlessly across the tarmac to waiting planes, luggage carts are visible in the view of Outside, outside of this decontaminated zone, this quarantine area.
Soon I will get some tea, and after, I may read some more of my book. I have no other plans.