Thursday, November 8, 2007

Fear of Flying

Did I mention--I'm getting so forgetful these days!--that we're leaving for New York this morning? I hadn't forgotten that we were leaving, just whether or not I'd mentioned it. 11/11 is our anniversary. That's right, we got married on Armistice Day, the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, just when the treaty was signed to end the First World War. Which led, I regret to remind you, directly to the Second.

We have been more fortunate. We are still together after thirty-five years--of married life: there were three more before that, "living in sin," as the quaint old phrase had it. Ellie was eight months pregnant on our wedding day, and I had to virtually push her up the steps to the Los Angeles County Courthouse, where a judge did the deed. We decided to celebrate the occasion with a long weekend in New York, where we are long overdue to catch up with the museums and the art scene. We're also booked for a couple of Broadway shows, so it should be fun.

This morning, though, during meditation, I noticed how much anxiety I'm harboring, below the surface, about the travel part. My mind was the fecund source of a dozen desperate scenarios, and the emotions were roiling. A part of it is that I'm a bit sedentary by nature: I just feel comfortable at home, surrounded by all my STUFF--including, of course, my trusty computer--and knowing where I am. The other part is fear of flying. The airport hassle is one thing--the lines, the inspections, the unhelpful officials... And then there are those other dreads, irrational but no less real for that: the terrorists, the plane falling out of the sky... And most recently, the knowledge of what jet aircraft do to the environment, every mile they fly.

Irrational, yes. But real. I watched my mind play all its tricks this morning, and managed to remain relatively calm as I watched. Or at least, as the minutes passed, to use that wonderful power of meditation to bring it back to its senses.

I may be writing from New York. Or not. Depending on access, time, and so on. Be well, friends. And make it a good day.


robin andrea said...

I hope your journey is a good, safe, and treasured one. Looking forward to your perceptions of the city. Happy Anniversary to you and Ellie.

mandt said...

Peace and a safe journey. NY NY!

carly said...

Idealists, You cannot change the things you are talking about unless there is a true revolution of ideas. And you cannot create nor support a such a movement by merely setting an example or activity as usual, because it's not a strong enough influence. Working from within an established religion, especially a pacifistic one, is an illusion and delusional, because those ideas have proven ineffectual at stemming the evil. The evil has been identified.

George Carlin nails the causes of the effects no established religion can counteract nor balance:

But, there is at hand a powerful system of ideas which has not ever been implemented on a large scale. Reject artificial constructs. Wake up from dreams. Millions are beginning to see its usefulness. It is the system of natural laws.