June 10, 2017
“The earth still remains free for great souls. Many places— the odour of tranquil seas blowing about them, are still pretty empty for solitaries and solitary couples. A free life still remains for great souls. Truly, he who possesses little is so much the less possessed: Praised be a moderate poverty.” -Nietzsche page 77
We are sitting on the airplane from Bangkok, Thailand to Bali, Indonesia. The night has spread its dark cloak over the tapestry of clouds. Glimpsing out the window, I thought I was seeing a scene from within my imagination. How can one not look out the window? How are we able to see our earth from above the clouds, with our gazes directed down instead of up?
“Some people may never see Earth from an airplane.. Let’s never take it for granted. Let’s always look.” I say to Eric.
The captain dims the main lights in the cabin. Our reading light illuminates the pages of Eric’s book and the pages of my diary. Eric is reading “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” by Nietzsche, and occasionally he shares something insightful, profound, or poetic like the quote above.
Last night I read him two of my diary entries that I had written about rocks in the river of our relationship. I was upset. I just couldn’t articulate my feelings, so I turned to my diary for words of truth. Sharing passages from our journals feels extremely intimate, like we are inviting each other into the dimmest recesses of our thoughts. Just a few moments ago, here on the plane, surrounded by a hundred strangers, he opened his journal for me to read an entry that he had written…
“Kat is my mirror, and her expression is my reflection.”
He’s beside me now reading, taking notes, and I am writing beside him. He just put one of his earbuds in my left ear.. “Landing Cliffs” by Explosions in the Sky plays as I write. I am in my own moment, and he is in his, but we are together. We are always connected. We’ll arrive in Bali for my 30th birthday in less than two hours.
I love him.
I love this life that is both captivating and confusing. Sometimes life hurts. Sometimes I don’t understand my feelings. Sometimes I feel too much.
My pen stops as I pause to think. He also stops, obviously deep in his own thoughts. Looking up from his book, his eyes capture mine for just a moment.. so short.
Many moments begin and end so quickly. Sometimes I wish we could magically stay in a moment just a while longer before the next one unfolds. But the pages of life keep turning. Time unravels. And so I write.
At least his eyes remain unchanged.
He said, “You have to read this…”
It was page 95, a section titled On Marriage and Children.*
We read it together and contemplate. The sea of clouds dissolves into darkness.
It is all so beautiful and mysterious. But the truth is.. sometimes I am melancholy..
And I don’t know if that’s okay, but I accept it because I am tired of judging myself and others. I can just keep looking, and loving, and lifting my petals towards the sun.
But flowers need rain too.
And would this sky look as mystical without the darkness merging with the light?
It’s now 11:40 pm and we land. I still feel the rush every time we take off and land. We can fly. We can ascend from the ground against gravity and see the world from the wide open sky. We trust. None of it makes sense.
After informing the passengers of the local time, temperature, and saying, “Welcome to Bali,” the Indonesian captain gives us an unexpected gift. Over the loud speaker the pilot begins singing in his Asian accent “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You.” Preceding the final chorus, he invites everyone to sing along.
Hundreds of voices come together in this moment as we roll up to the gate. All of these passengers with different backgrounds, different feelings, all happen to be in the same place at this time. It is almost midnight, and most of us are tired. But the song is a reminder, an invitation to be present. There is now a deeper meaning to the phrase, “I have arrived.”
Arrive to this moment. We are all passengers in this dazzling and dizzying life, and we can truly arrive to each moment, not just in body, but in mind and spirit. We all sing.
Eric and I smile, cheer. And we kiss.
He still holds my hand.
This was one of those moments that came and went too quickly. So many moments are unfolding. And so I write.
“Unexpected intrusions of beauty. This is what life is.” – Saul Bellow
*To read more about Nietzsche’s ideas on this subject, navigate to the “inspiration” menu of myeudaimonia and click on On Marriage and Children .