In the abundantly generous bosom of A380, we took residence in our two seats and waited for Lufthansa to work its magic. I suddenly remembered that you can claim the perks nestled in a glass of wine and still be thought a dependable citizen, since the beak of the bird was headed to Europe. Said, done and repeated twice, mainly thinking that maybe, just maybe, the perks of serene sleep would follow. But then what was more reasonable to be expected happened, a two hour animated conversation, followed by a time of reading and a time of intense wonder at how 525 representatives of humanity are simultaneously air-sailed from the capricious curves and perplexing moods of San Francisco to the reliable vibe of Frankfurt in a little more than 10 hours. Isn’t this a happening with potential to reinforce Ferlinghetti’s appeal for a rebirth of wonder? The fact that the plane uses her grace every day shouldn’t deter us from being amazed. To me, a notorius antagonist of precision, flying the A380 is simply the shore where engineering becomes poetry.
Playing on the floor of clouds, light and dark adopt the behavior of two not so tuned up lovers, each coming and going in a pattern which leaves the other surprised. The expansive pie which is America, the land where each comes to be far away from something and close to something else, gives way to water, then to ice, then to water again, until, bold and rough, the coasts of Ireland are born under the bird, stirring curiosity in the flying contingent, promising the old continent, patient and slightly amused. Europe knows something for which America is too productive to stop and listen to. A rumor flew among the hills of Europe, that America oficially extirpated her melancholly, making room for an unending supply of cheerfulness and optimism. But the older hills said to the youngers: don’t believe everything you hear, and some of the youngers believed and some of the youngers believed not. You can’t expect all the hills to find themselves in agreement, and they were not. But what was seen under the belly of our bird was definitely Europe and we rejoiced.
I didn’t panic, like other times when I was confronted with happiness. I simply unboarded our two navy carry-ons from their sleeping place, counted my travel accomplice, the bear, the laptop, the purse, the printed magazine, the duty free delights, the hope, the longing, the certitudes, and I parted with the flying marvel saying something she knew I would say.