Thoughts

I’m flying from Denver to Houston. My dog’s curled up in her bag, sleeping off her valerian-fueled euphoria. We’re floating just above the clouds and the sun is setting, thoroughly committed to it’s melange of color. Intense orange. Raging blue. Stormy white. I wonder who the first person was to see the clouds from above, a sight, I suspect, never intended for human consumption. And yet here we are. Above the clouds. And most of my fellow travelers are sleeping, oblivious to the heavenly beauty just outside the plane’s dirty windows.

Another thing I wonder as we fly fast and furious away from Denver is if we, humans, are even meant to experience love. It seems to me that we either run towards it or away from it, tear it apart or cobble it together, as if it were a thing, a tangible, touchable thing. Like it’s something we control. Like the word itself will cause a tsunami of regret once uttered.

Lately, I feel like being reckless with the word, flinging it into the sky or at a certain person and hoping that that person catches it instead of ducking. I feel like going for it with abandon, awash in a feeling I know I can cultivate if given the proper tools and brave soul willing to be reckless with me.

But what if love is bigger than us? What if it never begins and it never ends? What if what we call love, the word, is a morsel, a distraction, a mixture of vulnerability and hopefulness, clogged up with trepidation and masticated with thoughts of past, future, and present? What if we could pry our rib cages open and let the light of love shine in as we send it back out. No fear, because we know it’s real. Wouldn’t that be heaven?

It’s funny how sitting on a plane feels like sitting still, but driving fast on a freeway with the windows open feels like you’re hurtling through space. Maybe finding love, real love, is like sitting still. There’s not much thrill to an airplane ride once you’re past the take off. And if you’re in an aisle seat, or on a red-eye, it’s hard to see whatever secret beauty is beyond the tortured window panes. A stranger might squeeze into your space, or your sleeping dog might mistake a dream for reality and try to scratch her way out of her bag. But there is something waiting for you at the end of the ride. And four, or six, or eight hours of sitting still can take you so much farther than a speeding car on a highway, even if it is a lot less glamorous.

I have heard it said that everything comes from silence and that silence is love. Looking out the plane’s window, I think I’m starting to understand. A little.

***

I had three first dates in Denver and fell in love each time. The timbre of a voice, the gentleness of hands, the honesty in a sideways glance, touched me beyond my wildest dreams. And as I study the beginning of an idea that, while surrounded by mountains, and snow flurries, and cold hard sunshine, I’ve met someone I might want to know forever, I’m beginning to question what I’m doing. I don’t expect that there’s a good answer to the question, but I can’t help but wonder what it’s all about.

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