Friday, January 14, 2011

Riding the Airport Escalator: An Aftermath


...at the Atlanta airport, I experienced a moment. As with any epiphanic spark, there's a host of set-up antecedents: getting up early, padding downstairs for tea and light, feeding the cats, emailing my husband who awaits me at the other end, tucking together boarding passes and last-minute packing decisions, working through the morning's tasks at school, getting to the airport on time, parking the car, riding the shuttle, going through security with the efficiency I've learned, getting settled, getting onboard in the right order, getting my stuff in the overhead compartment, buckling up...then, at Atlanta, that bustle from one gate to another with just enough time.

So, the crux of it: I felt good. I know how to do all this -- it's my life. And the comings and goings of this life make me feel fully engaged.

I was going up the escalator, my backpack on my back -- my trusty, reliable back cheerfully taking its load. My small side bag swung along in my left hand, my very useful and faithful fingers holding on. My shoes felt good on my feet. My feet felt good meeting the ground, grounded evenly on each step. My body moved along the way it's supposed to, calmly energetic and fully functioning.

I looked around at everybody else -- we were packed in the escalator -- and I felt happy to be among all these other humans, all of us so occupied and going places. It felt good to be in the human race, in this amazingly complex world we've made. I was "one of us," pleasantly anonymous and not alone. I don't know how I could say this, after the terrible week of Tucson and after a horrific double suicide of a couple I love, but today I loved us. Maybe it was the aftermath that did it -- the love for what remains, what hasn't died. Oh, yeah, yes, yes -- time for Dylan Thomas:

Out Of The Sighs

Out of the sighs a little comes,
But not of grief, for I have knocked down that
Before the agony; the spirit grows,
Forgets, and cries;
A little comes, is tasted and found good;
All could not disappoint;
There must, be praised, some certainty,
If not of loving well, then not,
And that is true after perpetual defeat.

After such fighting as the weakest know,
There's more than dying;
Lose the great pains or stuff the wound,
He'll ache too long
Through no regret of leaving woman waiting
For her soldier stained with spilt words
That spill such acrid blood.

Were that enough, enough to ease the pain,
Feeling regret when this is wasted
That made me happy in the sun,
How much was happy while it lasted,
Were vagueness enough and the sweet lies plenty,
The hollow words could bear all suffering
And cure me of ills.

Were that enough, bone, blood, and sinew,
The twisted brain, the fair-formed loin,
Groping for matter under the dog's plate,
Man should be cured of distemper.
For all there is to give I offer:
Crumbs, barn, and halter.

2 comments:

Gorilla Bananas said...

I hope you enjoy being human as much as I enjoy being a gorilla, Macy Swain.

Pull Up A Chair said...

Very nice. I'm glad that the dreaded "next blog" button brought me to your door.

Peace