Tuesday, May 4, 2010

oh, the places you'll go!

i joined flickr in july of 2007. and shortly after stumbled upon a photographer who's photos seemed to tell a story, i became an instant fan.. something about her seemed familiar. so, i sent her a message and asked her some photography questions. i remember being so nervous sending it and then waiting to see if there would a response..i mean, this was the first time i'd ever 'flickr mailed' anyone.. she responded that day, i believe. and was so kind and happy to answer my questions. then i quickly received another 'flickr mail' from her saying "i had a cabbage patch doll back in the day and her name was zara..." and i could not believe my eyes/ears! i had the same cabbage patch doll named zara, her hair was red, and so was hers...and so the rest is history. we've been flickr friends ever since, slowly getting to know eachother over the years, texting back and forth at times, video texts exchanged. but she's always felt familiar, like an old friend that i've re-connected with.

so, on april 23rd the day finally arrived when i flew to her part of the county. i've never flown or traveled alone before so i decided to write down my internal dialogue on my flight over... here it is..

                                                           april 23rd, 2010
"flying through the air, looking at the world below. flying over clouds, mountain tops, weird crop circle things.. seriously, what ARE those?! i saw my neighborhood, it's crazy how fast airplanes fly. we had just taken off and five minutes later i'm whooshing in the air over my neighborhood. so crazy yet so cool.

passing a large frozen lake and more mountains. i forgot how many mountain ranges there are.. are they called mountain ranges?! i don't know, but there are alot. alot of snow peaked mountains, more frozen lakes. it's pretty. sometimes i forget how large and vast the world is, yet so small. ok. maybe not small but it feels smaller, more attainablewhen you travel. bridging the gaps between home and the rest of the world..

geeeez... more mountains. where are we? i just asked the stewardess and she has no idea. we must be over colorado maybe, the rockies, perhaps? perhaps, perhaps, perrrhaps :) the girl sitting next to me is from anchorage, alaska. flying to st. louis as well. she's sweet and was also scared of the take-off. oh no... i have to go to the bathroom but dude, i'm by the window so that means i have to be all awkward and disrupt their moment.. "ummm, excuse me.. sorry, yeah...thanks." yeah, that'll be fun. ok, here i go... oh no!!

yeah, super awkward. but not too bad.

the stewardess or is it flight attendant? said we're going over the sasosh mountain range. or it sounded something like that. ugghhhh..turbulance is so scurrrry larry. i always feel like i'm the only one who's quietly freaking out inside, so i look around for reassurance and everyone is carrying on like it's nothing.. oh god, more turbulance! i don't like it, oh nooo..

i feel a headache coming on and my ibuprofin is up in the carry-on compartment. so forget that. maybe i need more water. but just a little bit, not going to the bathroom again. HOLY TURBULANCE. OY. GOD, PLEASE DON'T LET US CRASH. we're flying through a sea of clouds right now. mmmm hmmmmm.

ok. the sweet anchorage girl just gave me two ibuprofin's. yay! sometimes i forget how kind strangers can be when you just talk to them.. "people are just people. they shouldn't make you nervous, the world is everlasting and it's coming and it's going.." oh regina (spektor), how i love thee..

more turbulance, yo. omg.
ok. just touched down in st. lou-eeeee! eeeeeeeeek!"

written on my way home, april 26th, 2010
"well here i'am writing through the turbulance. i'm not as frightened as before. i'am okay. but i find myself starting to cry while listening to 'like spinning plates'. and now i'm totally crying. i think all the emotions of the song (not the words, just the music) convey how i feel inside, it's such an emotional song for me. and leaving st. louis, i'm leaving a piece of my heart there and taking the love i felt with me.

katie's friendship feels so comforting, like home. and so i feel torn leaving a friend or friendship that i've never experienced at home. she exudes love and acceptance. never any judgements or negativity. just love and kindness. and i feel sad leaving because i didn't realize i've been missing or longing for a friendship like that. i think i'd given up on seeking out friendships and that makes me sad. maybe i had given up on people in general. withdrawing so that i wouldn't get hurt but now i realize that in the past i've probably missed out on connections, letting people and love pass me by.

i think that in a way katie and laini have renewed my faith in humanity. their home is brimming with so much love and laughter and it's helped me find my joy and laughter again. what a precious gift to give a person. it's so profound it makes me continue to cry and now the man next to me probably thinks i'm a basket case or something but who cares...

thank you katie and laini for helping me rediscover my joy. i could thank you a million times and it would still never be enough or convey my deep gratitude i feel. thank you for being my friend. i will always cherish you and your family."

all my love, zara

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