On Flight


The bleak and vaguely militaristic atmosphere of the terminal is now behind us; we have endured the stifling tedium of the runway and the paralyzing terror of the lift-off, during which we considered the high likelihood of our imminent death and regretted our many missteps. We thought with great tenderness of Dante and Zephyr and the Weeping Serbian Spruce, and hoped that they would somehow thrive in our absence.

But we survived this trial and now blithely hurtle through the sky at unfathomable speeds; problems — not only ours, but those of the world at large — seem distant and trivial, easily resolved. Even death no longer terrifies us; to the contrary, the blue and amber sheen of the ethereal world outside makes the prospect of our annihilation and subsequent dispersal into the clouds almost welcoming, an eternal dive into a serene mountain lake.

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