Flying S.S.W. This ain’t Disney.

August 7th. This morning. 6 a.m. LaGuardia Airport. New York City.

Peak summer vacation season.

Young Parents. Families. Children. Babies. Backpacks. Teddy Bears. Duffel bags. Baby bottles.

Mothers, carrying delicate cargo, children nuzzled in necks, arms straining, heavy eyelids – – and it’s only 6:15 am. It’s going to be a long day.

ID’s. Passports. Longer. Everything’s longer. Wait times at check-in. At security. At X-Ray machines. But today, it’s ok. Families, together, excited, it’s summer vacation. There’s a sense of community in the terminal this morning. It’s buzzing. A good buzz.

Air conditioning blows in the waiting area, children huddle, gathering warmth around knees of their parents.

CNN blaring from TVs overhead. White Nationalists. Hate. More dead.

LGA to DFW. That’s Dallas, my destination. Not near a Walmart in El Paso. Or Killers hunting with automatic weapons with large magazines, passing by the Whites, seeking those with Brown Skin. NY Post Headline: “Ban Weapons of War.” Chilling.

A human, with a stone cold look, showing no remorse according to authorities. Government on vacation, no legislation, no change, more of the same. The rest of us looking over our shoulder at shopping malls, at Grand Central Terminal, at airports, at Garlic Festivals. Evil spewing on the internet that killings never took place. Pundits calling for arming retired veterans to protect schools and public places. Wow.

Little pink wheeled carryons being pulled down the aisle by little people. Braided hair. Pony Tails. Short pants. Children reaching up for Dads’ hands. God, I miss that hand reaching up, and that call for Daddy. Take me back, if just for a moment.

Flight #2632. Captain announces a smooth flight. 3 hours and 10 minutes. Clear, cloudless skies. His British accent, makes it all credible. “I won’t be back on the P.A. so you can all rest.” Yes, rest, 30,000 feet up. Still. Quiet. Calm. And El Paso, Dayton and the rest of it down below.

This flight, 3 hours and 10 minutes will last 10 minutes longer than I slept last night. All of it, this, is heavy.

I’ve just completed Jennifer Frances Kanes’ Rules for Visiting. (Highly recommended).

And I’m with her.

I’m tired. I’m tired of carrying this sadness forward. I’m tired of holding it.


  • Inspired by:

you wake up and you’re living your life
in the static between stations, between the prayer
and the answer…You’re looking
for something to hold onto right now and
sunrise, two bad dreams, and some nights it takes
more than feather pillow to sustain you.

— David Clewell, from “We Never Close,” New American Poets, ed. Jack Myers and Roger Weingarten (David R. Godine, 2005) (via The Vale of SoulMaking)


  1. well said. it is a sad time for our country, but I remain optimistic for a better tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Right there with ya, pal. So heavy-hearted. Want to believe our better angels will win out, but lately, whew, it has been tough….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s pretty scary what’s happening in our “usually relatively calm” part of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The year was 1965. I was almost 12 and my family moved from Western Canada to Metz, France. It was the time of the “Algerian Crisis”. That time and space where one country was trying to claw back its independence from an invader from long ago who after many decades of rule, felt they owned the land, and the peoples. There were those in Algeria who felt they were French and wanted to come ‘home’ to a land they’d never known. And there were those who opposed their coming.

    I remember the driver who picked us up at the airport talking to my father in the front seat while my mom and 3 siblings dozed in the back seat after the long transatlantic flight. Huddled in the middle, I could not sleep. I wanted to know and see and hear everything. I heard the driver telling my dad about ‘the trouble’s’. About men in masks walking into restaurants and gunning down innocents, or driving past busy sidewalks and opening fire.

    That night, I woke from a troubled sleep in tears. I wanted to go home. Back to Canada. Back to a place where guns and shootings and violence were not part of everyday happenings. A place where I felt safe.

    Decades later, I sitll want to go back.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Louise, je te comprends. We too, born and bred in neutral, free Switzerland, have been moving here and there, experienced many things, good and bad, but one of the hardest sentences I heard from HH, was «I feel uprooted and don’t know any longer, where I belong»….. Mind you, you would not be home in dear Canada any longer either. *Everything and places, people and values*, all have changed. We need to nurture love and kindness where we are planted.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I don’t know about that, Kiki…

        Liked by 2 people

        • Dale, maybe you misunderstood my slightly oblique comment. We feel it, the ‘homelessness’ because everything is changing so rapidly; we expect to see something as we knew it a time ago, people change, as do morals – we might have been (then!) the bee’s knees, and now we wouldn’t be the ‘flavour of the day’ with those same folks, etc.
          I made it a rule to think of ‘home is where my heart is’ – but as my heart is not *always* where I am, that doesn’t function always either.

          Liked by 2 people

          • No, no, I understood. I know they say you can never go home again but maybe I am a romantic at heart and like to think you can, even if nothing is like it was before. Of course, I’m talking out of my butt as I’ve never left home…

            Liked by 2 people

      • hello Kiki, thank you for your breautiful response. It is true what you write about being uprooted, the quesiton is always “Is this where I belong?” I did return to Canada, but still search for that place in the distant past where I felt safe — I think perhaps in this world, the only place to feel safe is within ourselves. knowing we are leading our lives with loveing kindness, knowing we are walking with our integrity, knowing who we are is how we are in this world right now, right where we are.


        Liked by 4 people

    • Swept away with you on this comment Louise. Thanks for sharing such a deeply personal moment in your life.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I think back to some of your previous posts… a little girl with her suitcase at the train station decades ago, how many parents would let their little one – so confidant & trusting to walk up to a helper stranger…how many today would allow their child to be more than five feet from them? I think of one of your post about a dog in the train station, you were happy to see the dog at Grand Central, then you realized that the dog was commanded by his handler, he was a sweet dog working bomb patrol…and then a photo you shared from probably WSJ I searched couldn’t find it…a beautiful little blond headed girl about three years old…holding the hand of dad or grandpa at a train station, he head turned diverted from what her adult was doing at a maybe ticket machine, she was watching the armed soldiers or police keep watch…and I think of through the generations since the beginning of time…un-stableness, hatred and evil doings have taken place and I wonder when will it ever Stop? ///Our area had a school shooting students and adults died, 25 injured. We paid our respects along with others at the flower studded fence line with many others, I had contact with one of the students a year or two later, that was a conversation… I knew the Amazing trauma surgeon, I knew a mental health professional who was quoted many times and treated the shooter prior to the shooting, took strength as a parent to drop off my child for a school visit – a public school where she at barley ten years old knew no one – it was the middle school visit…I dropped her off to a cafeteria filled with area school 5th graders and lots of teachers…this was the morning of the nearby school shooting…Today they would have canceled the event and had all the area schools on Lock Down… A few years ago a neighboring community had a school shooting 10 died and many injured…and our church has a security team…We were at the grocery store recently,in the check out line in the middle of a hot day and a man who looked drugged out came in wearing sheafed knife at least 10″ long stood at the end of our check out line he was agitated looking for customer service..the store is near an Interstate….he and his crew of course were parked next to our car and they were driving road rage-y in the parking lot…we are always aware of our surrounding esp in parking lots…I do see men and women occasionally who wear holstered gun, in public…and shotguns and riffles mounted in pickups <<< and I wonder about some random person breaking into the truck and taking the guns…our town generally has been a sleepy place unfortunately the past many years that has changed…too many people Do Not Have Hope…I Have Hope…I know there are more Good People than Deranged, Evil People…and I know that "Each Breath Is A Gift"…a Chance to Move Forward, Individually and Collectively toward improving the Future, toward Peace…Once you asked what would a person wish for if they could have any wish they wanted, fill in the blank…I answered Abolish Evil…This Is Still My Wish….

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Relax... says:

    A) We need one less (very archaic) Amendment — we should repeal it immediately OR ban assault weapons (check other countries’ gun licensing and ownership regulations); B) we need a functioning person in the oval office and functioning people all around that person asap; and C) don’t give up, folks. It will get better. We came back from Kent State and Watts and Nam, we came back from Columbine and Iraq and OJ. We came back from 9/11, and we might even come back from Trump. For sure, though, we need a referendum question on the ballot for 2020. We are “The People.” Let’s do whatever we can to build hope and ban domestic WMDs, and to get a truly stable person into office, genius or not. Hang in there . ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  7. A line from Sweeney Todd – ‘another day, another death’…the meaning was figurative and literal…and here, with two feet on the ground and wishing I could fly above it all for a little while.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. I am very far from you and the national suffering, and yet my heart is bleeding, just as much as if I’d live amongst you, my friends, brothers, sisters, family….

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hard to listen to and feel the immense ripple effect mass shootings have around the world and in the local communities affected. From over here where strict gun laws really have kept us safe, Australians continually ask, as I’m sure all Americans do, “What will it take,?”

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I love flying and yes the rigmarole of getting on a plane is part of life, however frustrating

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Heavy hearts …. and lamenting souls.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. So with you, so tired of this sadness. The heaviness of it. And that sense of injustice, so unshakable.

    Many years ago and in a very far part of the world my family and I came so close to danger, inches from tragedy. Something in you changes and decades later you’re never the same person again.

    And people keep saying, “But life goes on.” It really shouldn’t. It is because life keeps going on like nothing happened that things don’t change. You would think it should stop, and not move again until it’s alright.

    Your Eric quoted someone in one of your posts, saying, “the worst thing to do is to do nothing at all.”

    And that picture of kids playing at their parent’s knees, priceless and miss it so much.

    Save travels my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. After reading this once more, I finally got around to clicking the little star. I was there in the airport with you, wondering how there could be still such innocence and hope for happiness in such a scary world!

    “Tired of carrying this sadness” me too, actually deciding not necessary at all. Gonna check out this book.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. On so little sleep and you manage to write this. Finding the love in families travelling together (and oh, I am so with you on missing the little hand grabbing mine, asking for Mommy to keep him safe).
    How can you not have a heavy heart? This is relentless…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. you saw the light through the darkness.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sometimes I feel like you’re my filter, seeing the good and bad, the sweet and the terror FOR me so I don’t have to get too close. Thanks for being my superhero.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Lovely and heartbreaking post. “I’m tired of holding…” this sadness, too. As a teacher and a parent and a human…it is too “heavy,” but someone has to carry it so that we don’t forget it in order to change it.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Christie says:

    the innocence of children and their hope…we all want the children to have a life free of violence…broke my heart & brought me to tears seeing a beautiful five year old girl on the news yesterday…both of her parents killed, shielding their two month old boy, in the El Paso shooting…she asked her aunt and grandmother if the bad man was coming to shoot her next…the child and her two siblings know without parents…hoping we all pray for those children and all the other families who lost loved ones…

    Liked by 1 person

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