August 24, 2007

First flight to Ireland.

Time for take off. For the duration we've been on the plane, the sun has been setting - it seems like that was planned or something. The light outside is beautiful. It's that dusk-type light that is so inevitably temporary. It seems like something is always planned for after it's gone. For example, the workers outside - they will be either going home to eat dinner or staying late tonight at work. Regardless, our flight is so insignificant in comparison, as is what's happening now for us compared to what will happen in the next 8 days. The sun is totally gone now and things seem more serious. More quiet.


I don't know what happened in the past three and a half months, really. It all seems so trivial now that what I've worked for is a flight away. Our plane is such a tease - it keeps shaking intermittently, moving 20 feet or so, and stopping. Let's go! Anyways, somehow I worked five jobs the majority of the summer, had two exhibitions, quit smoking, got into two more shows, went in and out of a great relationship, moved into a new apartment, spent the most of the summer alone (in turn making me into some type of part-time philosopher) and spent literally all my money on an 8-day trip to Ireland that I am confident will change the way I see. After all that and now sitting in seat 33A on flight 256, the past three and a half months seem like a blurry dream. A dream that I woke up from in seat 33A on flight 256, and now things seem less important in retrospect: the passport chaos, the checks that made my bank account go negative, the film hand-checking at security, the Chicago everyday bullshit, Comcast as a whole, credit card payments, gas prices, rent, e-mails, phone calls, working for this stupid magazine...what matters now? The plane taking off right now...and now we're flying!  


Have you ever really thought about that concept? It's crazy. The Wright Brothers came up with this? "Oh you're driving? That sucks...I think I want to just..." well that wasn't going anywhere, but seriously. I guess I haven't really put much thought into it until now. But I am some large amount of feet in the air, with hundreds of other people, being flown across the ocean and we're being air conditioned right now. And handed personal pillows and blankets, and in a little bit there will be dinner, followed by two movies, followed by breakfast. "Can I do anything else for you?" seems to be a going thing with flying - honestly, no - flying me across the world without touching the ground seems like a pretty sufficient gesture. That leads me to something I've been thinking a lot about lately: living life with luxury. When you step back and reinterpret the necessary things in life, there aren't all that many. I think I've re-determined the level of food and sleep I've been told to have my whole life. When we say things beginning with "oh, I really need...", a lot of the time I don't think that's altogether true. I'd say normally we could exchange "need" for "want," or "would like." However, I'm not saying a better life is a basic life. I think it's important to take advantage of the opportunities we come across. As long as we recognize our luxuries and unnecessary. 


To me , I think this is where a lot of the idea of anger derives, when we get disappointed about things, it's because we expected them to be a different way. If we didn't have extra expectations, we wouldn't be disappointed if they did or did not happen since we technically don't deserve them in the first place. This is where the human nature of the "ego" comes in. When we believe that we deserve things. To assume that what we do in life is reciprocated seems to be a selfish mindset. If this expectation is made, the value of the things we do has now changed to something we do for an act in return. In which good deeds are now a deal or trade-off. For example, if this plane didn't make it to Ireland, I can't say I would be fully surprised when actually analyzing what is going on (a flight across the world relying on a few engines, wings, and fuel to power it, carrying hundreds of people and their luggage). With the technology today and my experiences with it, I fall into the category I previously talked about: expectation. I do expect this plane to make it, but I view this as a luxury. 


It's "morning." I don't think I slept. I kept waking up to remembering that I'm 35,000 feet in the air. If I did sleep, I'm going to say it was for 20 minutes or so. Looking outside is something that is pretty hard to believe as real. It looks like we are literally flying above the world, when I look up it blackens as if it's where "space" begins. Well, I guess it does, but I don't think we're THAT close. Right? I want to interview these flight attendants, it seems like they have a reason for being here that I know very little about. I guess we're landing soon.   

2007, Ireland, FlyingMatt Austin