Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Plane Silence

I just sat next to someone on a plane for 11 hours and didn't really say anything to her at all.

Is that weird?

I did smile and say "hello" when I first sat down. Two points for nice smile and friendly greeting. I was feeling extra happy about having been given an aisle seat even though they couldn't give me a seat assignment until about an hour before boarding.

We watched films together and ate meals together, but we didn't converse. At the end of the flight I commented on how beautiful the scarf was that was spread across her lap. Her mum had been crocheting it all flight and it really was pretty.

When I first sat down, my new neighbor was on her mobile phone. She was explaining to a friend all the traumas that had almost kept them from making their flight and she was crediting answered prayer for the resolution that ultimately resulted in them NOT missing their flight.

Phew! I didn't need to harken back to some long ago guilt that says I must "share" with the person in the seat next to me.

To be honest, the quiet of sitting with my own thoughts for a stretch of hours is a respite I look forward to. "Quiet" and "own thoughts" are not things I am used to. (Try being a mom for almost 20 years.)

I enjoyed my wordless little world.

But it still feels weird to think I was at the movies and eating and drinking and snoozing with someone that I never spoke to.


jenelle said...

I so rarely ever talk to people on planes, and often feel a teensy bit guilty about it. (For all of my talk on dialogue and community, blah blah...) But, I'm most intrigued by the idea that mothers don't really get to own their thoughts anymore. I guess I should really be thankful for these days of pensiveness and solitude. Missing you miss Lisa!

Sarah said...

Loved your blog entry! I can very much relate to the longing for silence and the struggle to not shut out anyone at the same time.
Your story caused me to remember one of my flights to Portugal when I wished for a silent row mate. The young man next to me took it upon himself to adjust my blanket while I was trying to sleep - creepy! As soon as I would nod off, I'd feel him pulling my covers up close to my chin. I don't think he was hitting on me, more like he was caring for an elderly woman! :)
All the best to you and your family as you prepare to share hope and love in Africa,

lisa said...

hi nelly. i guess it's not that i never have my own thoughts (i KNOW you've heard my strong opinions on things!) but they are interrupted constanly and so they feel scattered. i often find that i wake up in the middle of the night and have really clear thoughts about things that I couldn't work out in the day.

SARAH! HELLO! Long time! Oh someone adjusting my blanket would creep me out too! ah!