Last week I had the pleasure of taking a few days off to fly out to California and visit my husband Andy’s family. There were many magical moments on the trip—moments with family members eating, chatting and sipping wine to name a few. In addition to the time with family, the actual trip from coast to coast had lots of opportunity for magic.
I know that not everyone feels the same as me, but I love to fly—literally and metaphorically (see Cloud Hopping and Free falling and improv up on high). One of my favorite moments is liftoff. There is magic in that moment just after accelerating when the airplane takes off and I have a sensation of floating upward. What also adds to the magic for me is the relaxing feeling I get from having a gravitational pull backwards. As the aircraft inclines, my body reclines into the chair and I seep into a naturally calm and somewhat weightless state.
You might call that moment takeoff, but whether you call it takeoff or liftoff there is so much conveyed in that word. Consider all the wonderful metaphorical meanings: launching into the new, departure for the future, setting sail to what’s ahead, and lifting off into the unknown. Yes, there is so much magic in that moment of starting a new adventure, opportunity or direction at liftoff.
By Adam Zagajewski
Translated by Clare Cavanagh
I watched the arctic landscape from above
and thought of nothing, lovely nothing.
I observed white canopies of clouds, vast
expanses where no wolf tracks could be found.
I thought about you and about the emptiness
that can promise one thing only: plenitude—
and that a certain sort of snowy wasteland
bursts from a surfeit of happiness.
As we drew closer to our landing,
the vulnerable earth emerged among the clouds,
comic gardens forgotten by their owners,
pale grass plagued by winter and the wind.
I put my book down and for an instant felt
a perfect balance between waking and dreams.
But when the plane touched concrete, then
assiduously circled the airport’s labryinth,
I once again knew nothing. The darkness
of daily wanderings resumed, the day’s sweet darkness,
the darkness of the voice that counts and measures,
remembers and forgets.