Wednesday, March 16, 2011

That photo I didn't take, of view from the window seat of the flight I did take

We had planned to get up early and have breakfast, possibly a big-ass omelette, before my sister had to drop me off at LAX for my flight back to XNA. After 20 days in the City of Angels, sunsets by the oceans, and lots of questioning my reasons to come back, I was still taking that flight early Sunday. My bags were packet and heavy, but not as heavy as my heart.

My sister Lidi and I, we like sleep. But we also like to stay up late, specially when there are 1am foodtruck runs involved. So it was easy for us to decide that we didn't really need breakfast after the alarm went off that morning. I think we made those plans already knowing we wouldn't complete them, but it's nice to have plans for breakfast with your sister, and talk about what we'll eat and how great things will be.

We left her apartment as the sun was rising. The sun, he finally decided to show his face-- shining after so many cloudy days during my visit that October (2010). It was one more sign for me to stay. One more sign dismissed. The air was crisp and the city was clear as my sis drove me, fast, to the airport. We had calculated the time I'd need down to the second, and I was right on time (contrary to popular belief). But what we didn't count on was the mile-long waiting line for security check. I freaked out and started sweating. The line was moving quick, but still... I think I spent close to an hour there. I started tweeting left and right, that if I missed the dang flight I wouldn't try to get another one; that if the line didn't move I was going to call my sis to come back for me; that I should be getting out my book already; of why I checked my bag... Just a portion of my so many thoughts. I was freaking out. No one needs additional messes when already questioning a situation. When I finally made it to security I walked fast to the gate. Of course I wasn't running, I still had to have some dignity left in me after the whole thing was over, no matter what the outcome. I got to the gate and the airline people were just chillin' waiting on the passengers who were arriving one by one, most of them running, resembling deranged spider monkeys. I'm sure I looked a mess, I sure felt a mess.

I got to my seat and got so happy when I saw I got a window seat. Window seats are my favorite. And that morning, that was the best. As we took off I sent my love as I spotted the Venice board walk, the Santa Monica Pier and downtown. It was the end of the morning golden hour and everything seemed magical. I'm still not sure if that was the universe's way to tell me things will be fine or if it was a way to let me know I was making a mistake on leaving. I stopped thinking and just took in the view. It was as if I hadn't seen anything so beautiful in ages, it felt so perfect. Maybe it was all the rain of the previous days, it was all so clear, crisp, vivid (all the things I wasn't, I was so sad to be going back). As we headed East, leaving my Pacific behind, we reached some mountains. We left behind the big buildings, the streets and highways, the palm trees. And we reached mountains. They were blue, very vivid blue. There were just a couple of clouds over the mountains, barely caressing their peaks. The clouds were translucent and I saw hints of rainbows. I'm not sure how long this lasted.

I didn't take out my camera. I wanted to just remember that view as I was taking it in at that moment. Sometimes you can't capture scenes in a frame, because sometimes is not just about what you see. That stretch of the flight is still so clear in my head. I hadn't revisited it since that morning, but it's so vivid right now. I feel exactly as I felt then.

A friend of mine forwarded me this piece and it reminded me of all the window seat views I've photographed.. and then it reminded me of the one view I didn't photograph.

"...Won't you carry it in? In your head, in your mouth, in your soul.
And maybe we'll get lucky and we'll both grow old.
Well I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. I hope so.
Well that is that and this is this.
Will you tell me what you saw and I'll tell you what you missed,
when the ocean met the sky..."

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