Friday, September 05, 2008

Clouds de Botton

After reading Alain de Botton’s The Art of Travel five years ago, I begin not only to ask for window seats in airplanes but also make it a point that the seat is not at level with the wing. Alas, this is not the case. I always get the wing seats except for local flights where I get the back seats:

There is no much talk about the clouds that are visible up here. No one seemed to think it remarkable that somewhere above an ocean we are flying past a vast white candy-floss island that would have made a perfect seat for an angel or even God himself in a painting by Piero della Francesca In the cabin, no one stands up to we will see that we are flying over a cloud, a matter that would have detained Leonardo and Poussin, Claude and Constable.

Food that if sampled in a kitchen would have been banal or even offensive acquires a new taste and interest in the presence of the clouds (like a picnic of bread and cheese that delights us when we eat it on a clifftop atop the pounding sea).

Like Joni Mitchell, I look at clouds from both sides now. Looking below can give you a perspective of how small we are and how mighty we can become.


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