Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bossy Betty Gets High and Then Gets All Philosophical and Stuff

When my friend's baby would get fussy from time to time, she would prop him up in his little baby seat, place him on the floor in front of the long pantry doors and then open the doors for him.  He'd immediately calm down as his eyes surveyed all the different colors and shapes of the cans and boxes therein.  The oatmeal box, the can of kidney beans, the bag of rice, the long slender cellophane-wrapped bag of spaghetti--all fitting together in a strange puzzle calmed him and kept his brain busy for a very long time.  

I thought about this recently as I stared out of the window of an airplane and looked down at the mosaic below as we flew into Nashville and then back to Los Angeles. The knowledge that I had absolutely no control over the flight only added to the peacefulness I felt.  I was entranced by the different shapes and sizes of the fields, the rivers that ran through the land, the way we as humans have divided, separated, attempted to make boundaries, to control the scope of our immediate worlds.  Occasionally, there appeared  a surprising jewel of a swimming pool, pond or lake that reminded me of when I found my first piece of blue sea glass on the beach or when was a kid and spied an absolutely excellent rock.  I wanted to just reach out and pick each one up, put it in a jar and keep it.  

Imagine if you could see your whole life from above.  What would the countryside look like?  What rivers would you see cutting across the landscape?  What boundaries and fences?  Were they/are they necessary?  Do they make sense when seen from above? The rough ground, the tough trails may not seem seem as insurmountable from above when you see the whole picture.  Are the paths too narrow?  Are you missing some great views because you are too busy getting to a destination, too hurried to make detour to a an unknown place?  Are there jewels along the way?  Do you recognize them for the glittering gifts they are or view them with nonchalance?

There are limited times in life when we get the opportunity to view our landscapes clearly, some only see them on the take-off of childhood and the ultimate landing of life itself.  We spend the majority of our flights high above the fluffy cloud cover, oblivious to the picture below.  However, if we are alert to them, life provides those opportunities (sometimes painful ones) when the clouds part and we take stock, and really look at it all. 

"Oh Betty!" you cry.  "Shut the doors of this pantry, for my brain is about to burst!  You have given me too much to think today!"  I slowly, reluctantly, and dramatically swing those doors shut for today, but readers be forewarned:  Betty had a lot of time to think when she was in that airplane, sipping Diet Pepsi and perusing the "Sky Mall" catalogue.  (Possibly the best catalogue of all time!)  Our time for reflection from the sky is not over and could continue for some time.  Betty has turned off the seat belt sign, but asks you to remain in your seats unless it is absolutely necessary to get up.  (Did you bring your Shamwow with you?)  Betty thanks you for flying with her today. Do not turn off your electronic devices until Betty tells you to do so, for I WILL be coming back through the cabin with more for you to consider very soon.  And for goodness sake, figure out the difference between that Assistance Button and your Overhead Light Button before you push anything.  It's just not that difficult, People.


Happy Homemaker said...

Your brain, with very little reading material and lots of time to compare and contrast can find metaphors in everything! You da queen!

Trevor said...

Wow, like...that was totally like, a dope article yo...

Anonymous said...

I used to be like you, enjoying the view out of the airplane window -- I even used to carry a small road atlas with me that had lots of maps of American cities large and small; and I would spend the entire trip peering out the window to try to identify even the smallest of towns below. I enjoyed conversation with my row-mates. I charmed the flight attendants with my inventive drink requests. I enjoyed the mindless feature films, and so forth.

Now, many hundreds of flights later, I am a mere parcel. I request an aisle seat. I ignore my fellow travelers. I chew no gum. I sleep. I watch the film with no sound and marvel at its insipidity. I guess I do read, though. That's pretty good, huh -- a reading parcel?

Betty, tell me, how can I make flying FUN again?

Bossy Betty said...

My dear reader,

I can see you are in distress and I am here to help you. You may need a fun flying partner. Have you ever flown with our friend MIJ? (Notice the code I am using! Cool, huh?) I found him to be quite the Chatterbox and can only recommend his company on short flights or you will never get through the Sky Mall catalog.

Another option, though somewhat disturbing and beyond your control, is coming very soon via my next entry.

Until then, sit back and relax and try the gum with Cooling Xylitol. It worked for me!


Anonymous said...

I love Betty.

Bossy Betty said...

Betty Loves You, Too! Thanks for reading.