Being above the clouds gives you a weird feeling of transcendence. The thick, impenetrable layer of whiteness below, contrary to all human reason, seems as solid as a rock. Here and there, sparse blue gaps tear this white infinity, reminding you of who you are. What you are. Where you are. Afraid of falling into the abyss … the abyss of the human world.
Through one of those blue holes, there is a vast blue field which creates a deep monotonic contrast with the pure golden sand. Stories of evolution spawn, of a comet, of an organism
A ship dragging behind itself two white lines like ivory tusks. A holiday cruise? I can’t zoom in enough to see the pools, though, or the beach chairs, the small-scale luxury of it. Or perhaps a fishing vessel? The eternal habitat of the sea strayed, an aquatic refuge of the terrestrial animal. It might be a cargo ship just as well. I’ve always wondered where all these foreign commodities come from and go to. Maybe hundreds of people are now counting down the days to get their items delivered and received. The same thought often occurs to me when I see an airplane: all those people travelling from A to B, from X to X, ? to ?.
Now that I’m here, above, seeing this ship below in the still blue water, it seems not much different, although turned upside down.
We’ve past the blue canvas now. Land. Only some small scattered tiny specks of condensed air create huge shadows over vast areas. These cotton-made shadow-casters seem much bigger from the other perspective. Small Monopoly-like houses reveal themselves. Hundreds of them, clustered in various landmarks, grey patches on green matter. Triangles, rectangles, circles … in all kinds of shapes. They are communicating between one another, commuting, exchanging, buying, selling… Intruding … spreading like a disease on a healthy body, all connected by black lines, man-made arteries and veins.
Inhuman thoughts enter my mind now. Here I am, standing on the border, looking down in despair, looking up in hope. Our little prison where people spend lifetimes thinking it is the only place where things matter. Most of them don’t ever even step outside their own cell, sleeping on their beds, immobile, lethargic, afraid of getting stabbed by the other inmates.
From here the world becomes one among many, though what it encapsulates is now strangely hostile, maleficent. The thought of going back down there makes me feel claustrophobic. The thought of staying up here als. And even though there is an escape from it all, I know there will be a part of me that can never really break free and will always live there.
What if, truly, our world is being misrepresented? What if Earth is a planet of schizophrenics, one big damn planet-clinic full of self-centred maniacs who see things and always associate them with themselves. This HUMAN WORLD! This world of behavioural etiquette, of universal order, of algorithmic precision, of scientific discoveries. The Universe’s Intelligence Agency (UIA).
I slowly become detached from all down there and start thinking of what’s above me. The essences, the ultimate reality, God, the Gods.
My stomach aches (I am absolutely terrified by heights!) . I keep telling myself that I am in the hands of something way more powerful than me, than the guys next to me, the stewardess, the pilot, the very plane itself. You would think that the evolution of science promised more security, though here one feels extremely vulnerable. As if one does not belong here. Security… Down there, perhaps, in our world, between ourselves.
Turbulence. I close my eyes for a second. I feel imprisoned. Trapped. I try to snap these thoughts out of my head. See myself in another’s skin might make me feel better. The guys next to me look calm. They talk between themselves and laugh in a loud manner. Both wear black suits, white shirts, and black ties. A stereotype par excellence. I imagine one of them as the head of a business company based in London. And I try to adopt his attitude towards all this flying thing. His, and therefore my own now, superiority as a successful businessman brings certain comfort and delivers an imperceptible grin on my face. Soon I will be going to this meeting, a posh conference about the future of my company. Hogwash!
The closer we get, the more scared I become, Is it the height problem, gravity?
Speed somehow matters now as I see how fast we are passing field and houses.
The plane makes a turn and I see the sky and the earth from a disorientated angle, confusing me, feeling as if I am falling.
It slowly pulls down, making my guts turn.
We clash at the white matter, creating turbulence, disturbing me. It was so peaceful up there, so calm, so detached from this reality. As we are almost landing, I no longer see my world from a gigantic perspective, I am small again, a subject to my own world, and the need to step firm on the ground becomes stronger and stronger. Is it possible to preserve that feeling of elevation, the one that took over when I was up there, at moments when I am down here?
In doing so, maybe my fear of heights will thus vanish?
Would the others understand?