Tobago

Tobago
Horizon at Sandy Point

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Rambling home

One of the miracles of modern aviation must be the ability to spend twelve hours flying from the east coast of Australia to land on the west coast of America five hours earlier. You arrive so early that you have to catch your breath. But it seems that you can spend the same day twice simply by crossing the Pacific east to west.

In crossing the Pacific in the other direction - from America's west coast to east Australia - you lose more than 24 hours!

It's just as dizzying going across continents from London to Brisbane, and back. The additional shock to the system is leaving in the grip of an Arctic chill to be sunburned in the southern hemisphere. But circum-aviating the globe - like talking via the internet - is just one of those things we now take for granted in the 21st century.

These were just some of the thoughts playing in the back of my head, behind the back to back movies (Dr Zhivago because it was the longest one I could find on the play list, followed by The Dolphin Tale and Red Dog and In Time - all of which I recommend even though I couldn't hear the sound very well in those flimsy earphones constantly slipping below my ear lobes - seems the circumference from ear to ear is less than the circumference of the headpiece) and the toogey-ness of trying to sleep in a sitting position crunched next to a window looking down seven miles to the ocean and pressed on by someone making whiffling noises under a too-small airplane blanket.
Seeing the curve of the earth!

It's ironic that the movie In Time (with Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried) leaves the central question "if you had only a day, a minute, a second to live, how would you spend it?" unsatisfactorily answered by all the protagonists. The plot becomes a chase after time as wealth. The lead characters become Robin Hoods - stealing from the rich to extend the lives of the poor, with the key comment left hanging, "giving it all away won't change the system..." 

In time, as in life, are these long days' journeys worth something to us? Do we need to see how others live far away on the other side of the world to appreciate our own existences? Do we find ourselves home only from far away?

Heading east to go west, and into night...

Stephan Pastis riddle: What goes around the world and stays in a corner? A stamp.



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