Hell of a Guy

A Catharsis: My Flight from Los Angeles


It may seem I have to fly a lot these days to some of you who read my garrulous ramblings, but I really do not.  It just seems to come in spurts.  Monday, I get to travel to Seattle for a few days.  Business has taken me on a few planes of late.  While my last post whined about the ills of air travel, especially flights with small children on small airplanes, the one I was on yesterday was a tad different.

I flew to Los Angeles last Monday and was there for three days of company meetings.  You know the kind; the ones where one has to suck up to the boss and bosses, just so they think we love and agree with them and respect their authority and their wisdom, we feed their egos and polish their shoes with the vomit of praise we heap on them.  Actually, all kidding aside, I stuck that in because I know mine will probably read this, or at the very least, someone will share it with them.  The meetings were really good (wink, wink).

My flight back began with a taxi ride to LAX at 5:30am after a night of tossing and turning trying to remember if I had set an alarm, which I rarely ever do or if I had really asked the front desk for a wakeup call.  The night left me groggy and dragging.  My flight time was 8am, but this is LAX and one never knows what to expect as far as crowd is concerned.  I have been there when the lines to get through the security screening seemed to go on for miles, and also when the lines were non-existent.  Friday was one of those days, no lines.  I was in a seat at the gate sipping a cup of Starbucks coffee within minutes of arriving at the airport and the clock on my cell phone read 6:09am.  I had almost two hours to kill.  Eventually the flight, United 946, was called and I took my assigned window seat in row 17, just behind the bulkhead at the rear of the first class section of the Boeing 777.  I, of course, was in Coach, but nonetheless, I had a great seat with a window looking out over the leading edge of the wing.

United Airlines provides each customer with a set of headphones.  Their planes receive satellite radio broadcasts and one of the channels plays New Age music.  I immediately found that station and even before the plane left the gate was being soothed with ethereal pieces so thoroughly appropriate for my mood.  I closed my eyes as the big bird rolled down the runway and took off out over the Pacific Ocean and I fell off into a deep sleep.  I am not sure how long I slept.  I don’t usually sleep for very long when I do doze on a plane, but this time my week caught up with me and I believe I must have been out for about an hour or so.  I was awakened by a voice in my ear telling me I could purchase a breakfast snack box with cheese and fruit in it for $5.00. 

As I came out of my sleepy stupor a particularly pleasant sound, almost angelic, was reverberating through the headset and into my ears.  My eyes began to open, as my head turned to the window.  The 777 was now about 30,000 feet above the surface.  The sun was up and illuminating the world.  The sky above was a beautiful array of light to dark blues, and just below the plane was a scattering of puffy, white clouds suspended over the quilt-like surface of the snow covered farms below them.  I was unable to take my eyes away from it and the more I gazed at it the more peaceful I became.  I was so thoroughly happy I was nearly overwhelmed with emotion.  And now I realize the feeling was nothing more than love.  I am overwhelmed with a love of all things.

Am I alone with thoughts like this?  I don’t think I am.  Two years ago in my search for God (but after it was revealed to me that all things are God) this Love took hold of me.  My emotional sensitivity went through the roof.  I have been brought to tears about things I would have laughed or snickered at just a couple of years ago.  I think I have always been kind of a emotional weenie, but, as with most boys, I was taught, or assumed I was, that boys don’t cry and most certainly do not display emotion.  Isn’t funny how some crap sticks to us as we grow up and stays with us as adults?

I have been reading a book by James Redfield, Michael Murphy and Sylvia Timbers entitled “God and the Evolving Universe”.  I am into some deep stuff these days.  Two passages came to mind as I gazed out the plane’s window:

Jalaluddin Rumi wrote: “For ages I knocked at God’s door, but when it opened at last, I saw I was knocking from the inside.” 

Beatrijs of Nazareth (ca. 1230-68) wrote:  “When love for God is awakened in the soul, it joyfully arises and stirs itself in the heart.  The heart then is so tenderly touched in love, so powerfully assailed, so wholly encompassed and so lovingly embraced in love that the soul is altogether conquered by love.  Then it feels a great closeness to God and a spiritual brightness and a wonderful richness and a noble freedom and a great compulsion of love, and an overflowing fullness of great delight.  The soul feels that all its senses and its will have become love, that it has sunk so deeply and been engulfed so completely in love that it has entirely become love.  Love’s beauty has adorned the soul, love’s power has consumed it, love’s sweetness has submerged it, love’s righteousness has engulfed it, love’s excellence has embraced it, love’s purity has enhanced it, love’s exaltedness has drawn it up and enclosed it, so that the soul must be nothing else but love and do nothing else.”

I hope this gives you something to think about?   

And that is all I have to say about that…

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