Why does it still seem so improbable to me that a giant aircraft can lift off from the ground and carry me at speeds I cannot feel across vast oceans, then deposit me back to earth in another land? Each time I fly, the experience seems remarkable, particularly if it is a trip of several hours, traversing invisible timelines, geography, climates, seasons and cultures!
I noticed this trip to Japan and back that there is a short window after I first land in which my experience of otherness is strongly heightened before it becomes familiar again. It’s like seeing a place through new eyes when at first everything seems foreign.
The city of Kyoto, while thriving and contemporary, contains the wisdom and legacy of hundreds and hundreds of years within it. You brush up against it daily in the traditions, the food, in the politeness of interpersonal transactions as well as in the more obvious gardens and architecture. For me, visiting Kyoto is like entering an ongoing river of time. I am always altered by it in some way during each visit. For the better! Continue reading “Back to Earth”