2017 10 05
In the air between Tucson and San Francisco
This part of travel has become routine: lines, shoes, extra inspection (many small chocolate bars for omiage must look like C4 in my bag), wait, charge up the devices, check for wi-fi availability on the flight (not on this leg), prep my documents for offline use, board, roll around the tarmac, make lift+thrust greater than load+drag, snack (stale stroopwaffle and canned orange juice), watch most people playing on their personal screens, and my usual so-glad-I-remembered-my-tummy-meds digestion.
Slightly different on this trip: overhead bins are dinky and way too small for many bags that fit in the sizing frame in the lobby. Luckily, people are managing. The lady next to me is being very gentle about one of my bags encroaching on her footspace a little.
We’re both ignoring the toilet right behind us. The traffic is constant, and the noises, hopefully, are mostly the result of altitude and waterpressure. The flight attendant is miraculously fast and accurate with an orange-based odor neutralizer, which she manages to squirt surreptitiously every few visitors.
I’m on the aisle and have to peek through the windows across the way. Since everybody wants high relative brightness on their screens, most are closed. This is much different than only a few years ago.
Heck, I remember flights when I was a kid where everyone was allowed to smoke and the only in-flight entertainment was a window.
Japan is likely to be rainy this trip. Hopefully extra toe socks will do the trick. If not, I may add to my collection of slightly used Japanese rain boots.
I decided not to bring weapons. Baggage claim is always difficult, Japanese customs sometimes is suspicious of letting my super cool staff back out of the country, the risk of breakage is high, and the risk of damage to my worn out old weapons case is about 100%.
Once I was already packing that light, I decided to try and pack only carry on baggage for the whole two weeks. I mashed what I know I need, minus the forgotten rain boots. Two ghis, plenty of clean underthings for after training, hakama, and clothes that will stretch the whole trip if I do a little rinsing at the sink and rotating things to hang up and dry for a day. Laundry in the middle of the trip would be ideal, but I don’t know if I’ll have the leisure. Several generous people want to take good care of me, and my schedule is both full and substantially out of my hands. I’ll feel like a seasoned world traveller if I get through 10 days comfortably with what I brought. I will probably also formulate lasting, strong opinions about never checking baggage again.
Funny. The nice lady next to me just asked if the window was ok open in a little bit unsure Spanglish. I got to feel smart chatting in Spanish, agreeing that windows are better open, and observing that I had just been writing about those days when people looked out windows instead.
So now I can peek out my own window, familiar landscape rolls out below us as we approach San Francisco, and I’m back musing on personal growth.
…for instance, the enormous rainbow tree-of-life almost spherical spiritual body that popped up yesterday. I’ve been seeing my psychic anntenna as a huge ultraviolet oak tree that furls and unfurls on the top of my head for about a year now. Yesterday, as I was struggling with wanting to crawl back into my coccoon and safely hide from my challenges while smashing my brain, I asked my teachers to help me pull off the coccoon. About six of them flew in, plucked off hunks of sticky carapace that represented my self-defeating habits that used to help me cope and now just help me avoid my noisy brain, and split. Then I stretched and discovered the rainbow tree-of-life around me. My body is just a bit of the trunk. So this trip, when I’m fussy or scared or overwhelmed or feeling unprepared I’m going to consider my tree, my roots, my interconnectedness in all things on both sides of the veil.
Hopefully that’ll feel better than insecurity, fear, and incremental self-destruction.
I’m here to grow for real, not just perform and gain approval.
Started driving at 4 AM. 9AM now. Nearing San Francisco, where I will change a bucket of cash to yen. Last trip, I only had my atm card, it didn’t talk to most card readers politely, and it was too late at night for the cash machines to be open. Couldn’t pay two different cab drivers or the hotel. My friends had to call in the middle of the night and talk the hotel manager into trusting me until morning. This trip, I’ll have enough handy to get through the first few days and figure out which machines take my card.
Whew. There’s a line at the head, right by my seat. The poor lady is literally doing the potty dance, though she’s making it look a little like leg exercises to avoid deep vein thrombosis in flight; it’s time for that surreptitious squirt of orange again.
PS “Landed” in Spanish is “aterrizado”. New word for me, but a- = recipient of action, terra = earth, and -*zado = verbed. To earth verbed. Grounded. Landed. I may remember.