Saturday, July 10, 2010

On My Way

I spent most of the day en-route which mostly means hanging out at airports waiting. Airports are kind of weird in-between places. Everyone is on their way to someplace else, in transit, not where they were, not where they will soon be. We all come together in this assigned holding tank. For one small moment we create this bond based on our shared experience of "going someplace other than here." It lasts about as long as a slide down the moving walkway.

But in this fleeting moment, airports reveal themselves as the true global melting pot that they are. As I sit in Chicago O'hare, all kinds of people from all kinds of places around the world sit together, read papers, chat about their families and enjoy a Cinnabon. Cities are compared, politics discussed, and traveling stories embellished as we wait to get on with our lives.

And we more or less agree to set aside our differences. Its the other-worldliness of the airport. We are there to move onto our next destination, not to start a fight and somehow that calls a momentary truce to alot of local and international feuding.

I've never really seen a fight at an airport although there was a close call once when a frustrated passenger got riled with the security people throwing away some expensive hair product stashed in their carry-on. Security, though, is one of the biggest conversation starters. You never quite remember how equally frustrating and scary all this luggage checking and swipes with "the wand" feel until you are there once again...and then you just have to talk about it. "What's going on with our world," we ask each other as we exit the body scan. The real world of mistrust and disorder momentarily raises its head but we all seem equally confused by it.

And then we are on to our next destination, excited once again for the thing before us, on with our adventure, on with our life. Back to the real world and away from this pseudo-reality that seems to have its own mysterious ebb and flow. For me it was on to Vancouver to begin my adventure for the next few weeks hanging out making art.

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