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February 27th, 2012

fear of flying

you know what’s crazy?  one: the need to control things that are out of your control.  it’s a compulsion that makes you feel powerless and unnecessarily frays the nerves.  it makes the world into a place full of forces and people that you grow to distrust, because they work against your influence as they naturally should, since they are not you.

i was sitting in the denver airport yesterday afternoon waiting for my flight back to LA.  i was talking with my dad on the phone.  one thing he said to me: “patrick, the more you try, the harder it is.”  then he talked at length about changing the oil in his van, which is one of my dad’s greatest pleasures in life.  eventually, i boarded my plane.  normally, i am obsessed with looking out the window during takeoff and especially landing.  i am famously agitated by the slightest turbulence, believing irrationally that planes are made with legos and elmer’s glue, and that sudden gusts of wind carry the destructive will of a god.

this time, i closed my eyes.  i let the pilot and the plane be.  when the plane was in descent, and just before it touched the ground, i kept my eyes on the exit sign hanging from the ceiling of the aircraft.  for 100 miles, as we slowly descended through the clouds in to the LA basin,  i did not look out any of the windows.  it was simultaneously terrifying and liberating.  mostly liberating.  a lifetime of lacking faith can get old.

by Patrick | Posted in musings | No Comments » |


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