Yesterday I was flying west from Tennessee to Texas. I was flying in the early evening, apparently close to sunset. I have a habit of closing my eyes as the plane taxis down the runway and often dozing off. I am not aware that I am particularly frightened of flying, I am not, but drowsiness always sets in just as the plane prepeares to leave the gate, although I never sleep long, just until we are airborne. I am sure there is some meaning to this, to why I doze off during take-off but never during landing, and no landing doesn't make me nervous either. I am inclined to think it is just a period of mental release, of closing the business of "home" with the more relaxed breathe of "away", but pehaps I am fooling myself.
At any rate, when I awoke we were above the clouds. The sky was a deep deep blue, gradually deepening into midnight but not yet black, and the clouds wee gray and somewhat soft looking below, with a texture somewhat like quilt batting, dirty quilt batting, but quilt-batting none-the-less. But the horizon was a ring of color, firey-bright oranges and yellows fading to greens and soft blues that started light and became duskier as they merged up into the skies. I love flying into the sunset and I suppose I sat there, looking out my window lost in the present moment, watching the gradual fading of the light, the slow deepening of the colors, the sense of stillness combined with slow steady change. No matter that we were rushing toward that change, that was not apparent to those on the plane, and it was the very fact that we were rushing toward it that extended the sunset, that sense of peace and calmness.
I was startled by the flash of a camera. The person across the aisle from me took a photo of the sunset. It occurred to me that I might be a better blogger if I took out my phone and snapped a photo to post here, if I tried to capture the texture of the darkness below, the deep glow of the sunset, the placid smooth stillness of the darkness above. the etchings on the plane window that suggested runes across that darkness, my knitting sitting on my lap, red and yellow and orange of my sock echoing the colors of the sunset.
But I didn't. I enjoy the sitting in the moment too much. I admire photographers. I admire their patience and determination, their art, the ability of the good ones to capture that intense presence of the moment. But in the act of capturing the moment you lose out on experiencing the moment, and I always choose the latter.
I am traveling. I am not going to compel myself to post during the trip. I'll be back on or about February 3.