A sense of helplessness battles inside me each time I enter a plane. I know the chances of it being just an ordinary flight are high, yet with each belly growl from the engine I feel as though my life is no longer in my hands- it’s in the pilot’s, the ascending cloud’s, or whichever God in the end was the real one.
On occasion, a presence of peace comes from my monitor screen. I stare at the map that tracks the flight mid air, breathing relief like an exhaust pipe when we exit ocean territory and hover over land. It’s strange if you think about it, whether we crash over sea or over ground, me and all these passengers would be recycled away. Definite gonners. But somehow knowing my preference call on how I go (ocean or land) was acknowledged breeds the illusion of having some semblance of control.
Though, there too is a strange paradoxical calm that comes from passing my life’s responsibility on to another. There’s someone to blame when the plane plummets, but when it’s just me I don’t have to luxury of shewing away accountability. That’s what this move to Europe feels like for me- a lot of pressure to not crash out there on my own. Maybe I should bask in the surrender that takes place in the loosely buckled seats and turbulent warnings- for a moment I can sip my ice cold water in a cup smaller than my hands and know that’s all I have to be holding. It won’t be long before I have bigger things to hold together.
Art by: Whooli Chen