Sunday, February 23, 2014

Before Leaving

I'm sitting on the airport limousine bus, bound for Kansai International Airport which is my gateway to England.  Behind me is a friend from the orchestra, one who is traveling tonight to Paris.  We're all excited to have a chunk of time free to explore the world, see friends and family, or rest.  This particular friend is perhaps one of the best companions for this bus ride.  Her enthusiasm, or rather passion, for flying far exceeds any that I've ever encountered.  She knows all the planes in all the airlines, the different models and makes.  She knows about their food and service ratings, their fare and reliability.  For her, flying is perhaps one of the most exciting things to do.  She frequently posts pictures of planes that she sees in the sky, noting their model and airline, and shares pictures from within the cabin as well.  I'm happy to have her attitude so close to me as I prepare for a long flight.  I enjoy the removal from the world that flying brings, being outside of geographical space and time.  I enjoy the anticipation of what is coming, and the opportunity it can provide for reflection.  I do not enjoy motion sickness, or dry cabins, or jet lag.  But to be with this friend is a chance to focus on all the good that is coming, despite my body's reluctance.

This afternoon we had our last concert of this project.  Our conductor planted several surprises for us and the audience beforehand.  During Satie's Parade he had one of the percussionist bring him a drink, presumably from the empty bottles that he has to play shortly thereafter.  In the encore, a fast-paced flamenco dance piece (to which he danced rather than conducted yesterday) he had my stand partner throw a flower to him which he put in his teeth as he stomped his heels.  He walked into the orchestra and gave it to the principal oboist.  At the bows, he presented it to a young girl in the first row.  It's been fun to have him.

And now for something different.  Saying goodbye to people after the concert, making selections from the convenient store, bowing to those around me as I get in line for the bus--the impending departure gives an oppotunity to feel their worth  in a new way.  Looking forward and looking forward some more.

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