11 February 2005

Leaving on a Jet Plane (2)

[Part One]

To continue the metaphorical overkill,
the interior of the airliner is a mostly static environment for most of its passengers, as is the world outside the airliner for most of those not on the airliner. Each group, if it cares to notice, can see the relative motion of the other: the person on the ground sees the airliner cross the sky and the passenger on the airliner can see the ground pass him by. These are two separate environments moving past one another with little effect on one another.

The defining characteristic of the airliner for me is not the trip itself but the fact that the trip is of limited duration. We don't live on the airliner; we live at either end of the trip, at the origin or the destination. Because this airliner is on a one-way trip, here only the destination is important; to return to the origin is just to make it a new destination. The choice to board the airliner and to tolerate your time aboard is prompted only by a desire to reach the destination; if a passenger loses sight of that and begins to see the airliner as a destination or his time on the airliner as semi-permanent, how devalued will the destination seem when he disembarks voluntarily or is forced to do so by the tired flight crew?

Once any passenger reaches his destination, how long will he remain? That's my preoccupation at the moment. When I started this bloggarrhea, I remembered my days "in flux", preparing and moving in nearly every aspect of my life. Now, I have established myself in a career; I'm progressing and learning, becoming more expert, but not fundamentaly changing my professional position any longer. I'm physically established, a homeowner with more possessions than I can easily move on short notice; I acquire and discard continuously, but I'm now established as a man of property with a firm attachment to said property. I'm a happy husband and father,
and no longer at sea emotionally. Even philosophically, after a major upheaval, I've become comfortable with my outlook; I feel challenged and engaged in a different way than when I was younger, questioning everything.

I've realized that I'm at my destination finally, albeit (hopefully) not at my final destination. I see also that I reached that destination some time ago without appreciating it. From curiousity, I started to wonder why it's taken so long to recognize that I'd stepped off my metaphorical airliner (last mention, I promise). The larger issue for me now is whether I can hold tight to the good in my present without jeopardizing the good in my future.

What comes next, and how do I know when to move forward?