This week I take 10 flights in 6 days. I'm halfway through now, and with all of the travel, the time changes, (4 time zones in 6 days...) and the hassle of rental cars, expenses, conferences and weddings, I found that layovers are the perfect opportunity to get back into my comfort zone.
No, it's not home. It's empty and full at the same time. Full of strangers: grown men crying over the loss of a parent, children running from their parents, spouses taking turns napping in the stiff leather seats. No room to be left alone, but all the loneliness in the world.
The terminals are ripe with characters for the mind's stage. It was here that I started writing again, after a long dry spell. It didn't start with a political blog or a rant about the shortcomings of congress. I didn't comment on the washed up celebrities in dark glasses that haunt LAX. I wrote a love letter. I used an ink pen and a notepad. And I read it aloud to my partner when it was finished.
With all the blogging, vlogging, facebooking and twittering that we do, as a culture, in DC, it was overwhelmingly pure to write something down again. No, not just anything, it was writing my emotions, my feelings down that seemed so pure. I felt like a poet, a Thoreau in my own version of the wilderness. The burden of politics, as only a DC resident can feel, floated away.
I've had this feeling before. I kept a journal through my travels in Russia, documenting my heartbeat as the plane landed in St. Petersburg and I finally saw those heavenward-reaching birch trees, as a nationalistic rally raged and our tour guide was assaulted, as the pungent aromas of dill and honey mixed in the open market and I was called "Senora" for the first [and last] time of my life.
So this morning, on flights 7 & 8 of my travels, I will bring a notebook and an ink pen, and see what happens. I encourage you to do the same, especially if you find that you're starting to hunch because of that DC weight.