The Inner Landscape


How do you amuse yourself in an airport?

I found myself making an extra stop yesterday, and I thought about how we try to plan ahead for the day we are expecting to have, only to be diverted by reality.

In the airport I saw a couple with six children, and another on the way. The mother looked, not surprisingly, tired. They boarded the same plane I did, and it was a plane full of children even without theirs. We flew east and north-east, and I was enjoying watching an episode of Studio 60 on my iPod (my first foray into this particular diversion), when I heard the chime that signaled a message from the cockpit.

As best I could hear, the ice on a window had not responded to de-icing, and the weather conditions in City By the Sea were not suitable for this particular plane to land. On this little plane with 50 seats, with somewhere in the neighborhood of two dozen children, there was no frustration at the news, only relief that the problem had been discovered.

At Beantown Airport, we waited to hear whether we would move to another plane or find ourselves on a bus on New Year’s Eve. The children, some of them, began to decompensate a bit, until their parents took them to the Dunkin’ Donuts stand near the gate where we settled for the interim period.

My iPod out of batteries, I took up my knitting again, a sock for #1 Son, the second sock.

The night before I stood on the little hot tub deck at St. Casserole’s, looking up at the stars. I thought how often I strive to occupy myself, to divert myself, instead of simply being where I am.

I’m not one for making a list of New Year’s resolutions, although I sometimes hold an intention for the coming year. This year I plan to continue my change of life, and today I started again, getting out to exercise, tracking the food I am eating. It felt good to leave it alone for ten days, and it feels good to take it back up again. But in some ways that is all diversionary, too, in the sense that it keeps my mind busy and perhaps allows it to be closed.

This year, I hope to find more time to simply be where I am, to listen to what is around me, to let my hands be, at least for short periods, idle, and my heart open to what comes next.

13 thoughts on “Divertissements”

  1. My iPod out of batteries, I took up my knitting again, a sock for #1 Son, the second sock.
    When I last flew (October) they wouldn’t allow DD to take her knitting needles onto the plane with her. We had to put them in the hold. Groan. Glad you and your knitting weren’t parted!
    Blessed and JOYFUL 2008!

  2. I am not good at simply being and listening–I am always one to have six books and two knitting projects at hand just to make sure I’l always have something to do. But that may be something to reframe in ’08. This is a very touching and provocative post for me.
    Happy new year to all of you!

  3. Glad you had a great visit with St. Cass and glad to hear you are back home safely.
    Well thought out. Well said. Like you and many others, I have a hard time just being in the moment. Our culture has conditioned us to believe that if we aren’t productive 24/7 then we aren’t ‘succeeding’ in life. I think that we’re losing life instead.

  4. Sounds good to me, Songbird, the idea of being quiet. Mind if I steal your resolution for myself?
    Blessings for the New Year!

  5. Songbird, good resolutions to live authentically as a child of God. Wow–we all need to live this way.
    And I had to tell you that I’m on my second day of choosing health with the WW plan.

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