The sky is blue because light scatters in the atmosphere. Some colors of light scatter more than others. The robins-egg blue that we see is an average of values. Up here, from the window of an airplane, the sky looks motionless. Clear, blue, and still. It’s an incredible phenomenon. We sit in the hollow belly of tons and tons of metal, careening at hundreds and hundreds of miles per hour relative to the ground, but it doesn’t feel like we’re moving at all. It’s only when I look down and see the clouds that I believe I’m moving.
“Didn’t you go on that trip last year?”
“How come you decided to go again?”
A year ago, around this time, I sat on a similar plane coasting through a similar sky. But I don’t feel like this is a part two. Even though the plane follows a path I’ve travelled before, I can’t see that path from my slightly cramped aisle seat. Ms. Tousignant gave us the same assignment last June, and I wrote about airports. Airports and airplanes are in-betweens. When I’m in an airport, I’m not really in Dubai or London or Ahmedabad or Boston. I’m suspended, in a new space. I imagine it like something out of those science fiction books I used to read, with heroes stranded in other dimensions where time and space lack linear form. I close my eyes in Boston and open them above Dubai, and the clock reads almost 24 hours later than it did before. But all I can see is the stasis of the sky.
Gandhi wrote, “There is no wall of separation between the means and the end.” I suppose that this, air travel, is a means, with an end of landing in Ahmedabad. And, according to Gandhi, shouldn’t the process of motion be just as essential as actually being in a new place? Last year, I wrote that I didn’t know what to expect. This year, I’m fine not expecting anything. Sometimes it’s okay to just be.