Today was a day of movement and travel. A day of shifting time and space. I traveled over a mountain range flying into the rising sun. The mountains became little more than patterns of shifting color and contrasting values. I landed in Denver airport with its Dr. Seuss-like peaks (that is the second image above). The sun and I crossed paths and I lost two hours from my day when I arrived in Montreal.
Traveling is a sensory experience. I love the sensation of being pressed back into the seat on take off. I love closing my eyes and feeling the subtle motions of the aircraft as it defies gravity and uses the power of air to lift its too solid and heavy frame above that which is lighter.
I traveled from Montreal airport in a taxi. We weaved in and out of downtown traffic in smooth fluid curves.
I am in my hostel room four floors above the busy street. From my window I can see the balconies of the building across the road. The grand vistas of Woody Creek where the magpies fly and you can see forever are gone (the upper most image is from Highway 82 on the way to Aspen, CO). The language here is French but not Parisian French. It is the French of Quebec.
Traveling is a reorientation. It highlights both the familiar and the unfamiliar. I think traveling to go to a convention focused on the fiction of ideas doubly expands the experience. I am looking forward to both the convention and to Montreal.
The image below is the Palais des Congres de Montreal where the convention is to being held.
I am reiterating my request for a tele-transportation device. It has been a few years since I flew on an airplane and I have never flown on one of the little itty bitty jets until this week. I just got off of one of said itty bitty jets about a half an hour ago. The color has returned to my grey zombie fleshed cheeks and my stomach has cozied back into its normal nook. I flew over the Rockies in one of these little commuter jets a couple days ago and the experience left me absolutely rattled. Everyone else on the plane was busily demanding water on the hour flight from an exceptionally gracious and well balanced flight attendant named Heather who was a testament to her profession. All the other passengers on the plane seemed nonplussed by the lurching dips and force producing turns of the small aircraft.
And then there was me.
I have a degree of fearlessness when it comes to driving fast. I have rode some mean horses that no one else would go near. Racing snowmobiles in northern Michigan with my cousins when I was growing up was a favorite past time. I adore riding motorcycles and feeling like I am flying along. As a child I used to swing Tarzan like from one tree top to the next in a game to see how many trees down the pine stand I could go. I love heights. Lurching, dipping, bumping planes tossed like toys in the currents over a mountain range I can honestly say don’t do a whole lot for me.
So today, when our flight attendant Patti began talking about how if we encountered an emergency situation we should use our seats as flotation devices, I bit my tongue to stifle the nervous giggle that wanted to bust forth. All I could think was that we were flying over mountains with no water in sight and if we crashed we would be the wet stain on the side of a mountain. Well, until we evaporated. Me, the atheist, has a really hard time figuring out what to do with my anxious mind in this situation. I kept saying to myself, over and over, “the ground is good”.
Until I realized what I was saying. Great gods. Then I kept saying “being in the air is good” over and over.
This flight no water was served. Patti stayed firmly buckled in place which I was very relieved about actually. The gentleman seated across the aisle from me kept smiling at me reassuringly and the gentleman behind me told me that it would be okay.
They were very nice. I felt real stupid. But they were very nice.
All in all the trip has been fantastic. I meet many wonderful, warm, outgoing people who far out numbered the few who were unpleasant. I had several marvelous conversations with friendly strangers like the couple in Basalt who told me about the memo issued to school teachers about what to do in the event that a bear comes onto the playground while children are playing. I watched an Earth Day parade put on by one of the elementary schools. And I got directions from the policeman in Basalt, and the gas station attendant outside of Aspen, and the clerk in Carbondale, and the rental agent at the airport, and the nice woman in the airport at Detroit metropolitan airport, and the nice woman on the flight between Denver and Detroit.
I still want the tele-transportation device. Then I could just meet people and talk to them.