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March 30, 2017: Hurry Up and Wait – the Saga Continues

Oh oh. So yesterday afternoon my friend Kathy Day and I, upon arriving at the Anchorage Airport, learned that our flight to the to the Aleutian Island of Unalaska had been cancelled. This was after sitting around for two hours after our check in time. The most notable event was that there was this huge guy lying on the floor of the terminal – he looked like a walrus, was inert, I thought he was dead. There was a woman sitting in an airport chair, I think she was with him – she did appear concerned, so I figured that he thought the floor was the most comfortable place for a snooze.

I was relieved that the flight was cancelled – I didn’t want to fly to a remote, windy location in a small prop plane. I had thought that Alaska Airlines was going to send us out there in a jet. But no, it turned out that Pen Air was going to send us out there in this smaller plane.

So, today, we arrived at the airport at 6:00 a.m. and again sat around for two hours. And the flight was cancelled at 8:30 a.m. I was again relieved. If it was iffy, I didn’t want to take the risk of losing my life. I am sure that Pen Air’s flight record is really good, but I wanted to make sure it stayed this way. Apparently the powers that be thought similarly.

We are now going through the same song and dance again tomorrow. If tomorrow’s flight is cancelled, Kathy will rebook. This has already cost her – motels in Anchorage are not cheap.

We occupied ourselves, both days, by looking at images of horse show jumpers on Kathy’s computer. One of these images was of Bruce Springsteen’s daughter. I wondered if after (because she won) if they played “Born to Run.” Anyhow, looking at these images was quite calming for me. It makes me wonder why these days, images of horses calms me. Didn’t used to be this way.

Kathy is wanting to get to Aleutians in order to do as a member of her dissertation committee, an archeologist, has suggested – which is to “experience the landscape” and to check out some artifacts in the museum. The museum staff has been noncommittal about what they might have on hand – it’s all well catalogued, but it might not be what Kathy is looking for.

There was, on the drive here, an omen if ever there was one. We had stopped to turn onto an overpass. And there, as we waited to turn, we saw a raven struggling to stay put on the branch of a small tree. The wind was ruffling its feathers. It was having a hard time. Then a second bird attempted and finally succeeded in landing next to it. Together, the two bounced around on this small branch of a small tree. The second bird finally jumped off the branch and onto the branch of an adjoining tree. Then the first raven flew off and was followed by the second raven.

These birds, I decided, were like Kathy and me, and our dealing with the unknown. That’s as far as I’ve gotten with this metaphor.

Next: March 31, 2017: The Writing Life: Liminality Luminated

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