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April 20, 2015: A Wing and a Prayer

I have innumerable reasons for having a fear of flying. All seem quite rational to me. However, one of these reasons has little to do with disasters real or imagined. Rather, it has to do with incomprehensibility. I cannot, for the life of me (and this has to be an Irish expression) understand how it can be that a person can hop on a plane at the beginning of a day, then have it land in another place at the end of the day.

I do understand the rudimentary mechanics of this – I mean, really, the big jets have massive engines that enable the plane and its cargo to rise far, far above the ground,

and seemingly at the speed of light. It is remarkable, in fact so remarkable that I can’t comprehend it.

It’s primarily for this reason that I get overly anxious about the prospect of flying. I read that anti-anxiety medications does not alleviate pre-flight anxiety over the long haul. I know that this is true. I now believe that it also doesn’t alleviate actual flight anxiety. Oh well. I have to go places, so I am just going to have to deal. Give me a day time flight and a window seat and I’m nearly okay.

This morning I was in Bremerton, WA. I went and spent time with Pam’s horse Blessi. I rode him. I again tried leg yielding, like I did on Kathy’s mare. It didn’t go as well with Mr. Blessi. I just wasn’t in a relaxed enough frame of mind to get my hand, eye, leg, coordination down. And Pam was right –he’s a very well trained horse who knows what to do – the rider just has to give the correct cues.

It was a beautiful sunny day – too nice to spend in the indoor arena. I think Mr. Blessi thought the same, which was why I suggested that we go outside for a ride. Pam, who thought this was also a good idea, then suggested that we head on down to the for sale property that was adjacent to her boarding facility. So down the boarding facility driveway we went – Mr. Blessi being alert but not reactive – the same was true of the horses that were in paddocks on both sides of the driveway.

Pam doesn’t trail ride because she had an accident. (She repeatedly noted that this was not Mr. Blessi’s fault), so instead she arena rides. I think that Mr. Blessi enjoyed the change of pace (no pun intended). I was glad to oblige.

It was finally time to head out, for me in the direction of home. Palm and I had a late lunch at a hippie cage, and then she waited with me at a nearby gas station for the Kitsap Transit airport shuttle to arrive. It came, I said goodbye, and headed for the airport.

The entire trip home was blessedly uneventful. I was given a slip of paper at the TSA counter that indicated that for some odd reason, that I’d been expedited, meaning that I got preferential treatment in the TSA line. What this came down to was that I didn’t have to remove my shoes. Imagine this! I asked the TSA people and the Alaska Airlines boarding clerks why I’d gotten the nod, but got no definitive answer.

The flight was smooth, the cloud formations heavenly. I was (as I always am) glad to see the Fire Island wind turbines. I was even more glad to see Pete, who because my flight was early, was late.

“Amazing,” I says to him “absolutely amazing. Air travel has to be the most impressive technological innovation that humankind has ever come up with.” Sad to say, anti-anxiety medications are the second most impressive technological innovation that humankind has ever come up with.

Next: 104. 4/21/15: Centered Riding Clinic, Here

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