Big Ol' Jed Had a Light on

Just now, a jumbo jet just passed over my house, huge, subsonic, deafening, low to the ground, rumbling, raging, near and awakening. This happens once every few days when the prevailing winds put the approach path of Hartsfield-Jackson directly in line with my apartment. Despite four years here, I never anticipate the change from day to day.

Feeling the thunder of that first approaching craft I'm always caught by the assumption of impending doom from either a tornado or a nuclear attack.

It was neither, of course, but as the plane passed over head and the tremble of dishes and picture frames transmogrified into the whine of receding jet engines I was struck by how untroubled I was by the thought of passing on whilst engaged in the activity of that moment, the reading of a good book.

Most people say, half seriously, that they want to meet the apocalypse whilst at the emotional and ecstatic pinnacle of the most intense fucking imaginable or while staring at the sunset ocean. They prefer to meet death at the moment of little death and they want to feel true awe while viewing the awesome.

Tonight I was content to lose the grip of life while grasping towards enlightenment.

For one who confesses to fear death as much as I do, I'm strangely contented by this realization.


waldo said...

Here in Canberra a now - defunct conservative local government privatised the airport. Now the dude who bought it is trying to make it a 24 hour freight terminal.
It isn't going to happen.

Anne Johnson said...

I lived a mile from a freight airport outside Detroit. 24/7 those suckers would buzz right over the apartment. Sometimes both me and my spouse would sit straight up in bed at 4:00 a.m., sure we were about to be toast.

If I die while reading a book I will be happy as all git out.

peony said...

There is something comforting here, and something to be said for pre-cognitive experience. When you came home from the hospital at 7 days old the house we lived in had a freight railroad track behind it with a turn right behind out house. The headlight shown right into our room until it turned, thundering and shaking the house, 30 yards before it would have plowed right through us. Combine that with the lullaby repertoire of your non-musical mum -- the complete works of Shakespeare -- and the origins of your startlement, and your comfort in that startlement, are very clear. Words, written and spoken, have always brought you comfort.

peony said...

Oops...."behind OUR house". LaCrosse wasn't so primitive as to have outhouses at that time.

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Ricardo said...

I'm thinking of Donnie Darko, when a part of the plane fell through the house.