It’s much quieter in the International Terminal than it is in the Domestic one. It’s strikingly different. I got off my tiny little flight from Eugene, where I probably flew over my ranch, and landed in SFO an hour later in Domestic. I took a walking tour that took a half hour through the airport.
My first meditation on airports, especially ones in big cities:
- toast costs $10
- beer costs $10
Guess what I chose?
My second meditation on airports, especially ones in big cities:
AH-MAZING ART. I walked to the International Terminal I will use tonight at 11 pm, and was struck by the art. It has a different feel to it.
In the Domestic Terminal it has a more-US diaspora 1950’s unsettled feel. Bechtel’s work was one I saw immediately. I love it and it speaks to me, but it is also stark and off putting and kinda depressing. (Note: I didn’t take a photo of his paintings here, so I had to download one. This one is not at SFO.)
There are so many languages being spoken around me, and I realize that is my siren song. I miss that desperately. Having lived in SF Bay Area for 13 years I just got used to most people NOT BEING WHITE. That’s not how it is in Oregon. It’s green. (hahahahahahaha) and then white. I remember getting on my first Oregon bus and thinking, “the BUS DRIVER IS WHITE. WEIRD.” I had the same experience in Seattle, too. I know that has imperialist and racist and asshole implications, but it is true and what I thought 16 years ago. And I’m sitting at a bar in SFO International Airport, I’m two beers in. Forgive my indelicacy.
This is my first international trip in twenty years. TWENTY.
I can drink all I want. I can live my life how I want to live it.
Sitting next to me in this bar are two dudes from England. The Belgium/Panama game in the World Cup is on. One of the guys is from Manchester. That’s a kinda big place for soccer/football right? The other, I dunno, but he sounds like he’s from the same accent area. It’s 9:30 AM and we’re all getting our drunk on. I’m sticking to California IPAs, they’re on to the whiskey and vodka.
The last time I went to another country I was 27. TWENTY SEVEN. I can’t even imagine how different I was then than now. I was a young mother. Piper was 2, Will had had just had an unexpected thoracic surgery. He thank God did not have cancer. But he had a tumor that was less than the width of a hair away from attaching to his spine and making him paralyzed. He survived and thrived as best as you can imagine after that surgery.
I had planned and paid for my trip already months before. I was fretting. I didn’t know what I should do, but I knew what I wanted to do. People told me I was an asshole for going. Will wanted me to go ( I’m a HORRIBLE nurse), and he was fine with it. Then Will’s parents told me to “JUST GO. OR YOU MAY NEVER GO AGAIN.” And they said they’d stay with Will and Piper while I was gone, and to not worry.
They showed up and took care of two year old Piper, the dog, the healing man, and the rental house, and all the details of our life.
I got in line for the bag check line at SFO-so different than today,-where all I had to do was check my bag (after waiting in line for two hours) and then get on the plane. I couldn’t sleep a bit on the way to London, but then that afternoon when I arrived there London time-I fell asleep on the table right after receiving my brie sandwich.
I feel similar things today that I felt then. I am at a transition, a crossroads, a transformation. When I returned from International travel last time, I told Will I was ready to have another baby. And two months after my return I found that that dream was going to come true. (Insert Liam being born the following summer). I left feeling unsettled. I felt stuck and weirded out by my life. I’d just finished my first year in an amazing graduate program at SFSU in Creative Arts/Interdisciplinary Arts. I wanted to go somewhere and absorb creativity and get in touch with myself. Will was kind and understanding. He kept saying that at my age he’d had the chance to explore all over, and that I should have the same chance. He told me GO. So I went.
The same thing is happening now, but with different circumstances and with a different partner. I feel unsettled and I’m definitely in the middle of figuring out a lot about myself and about my path and what I am meant to do. I am overwhelmed by it, but every time I seek answers, I find the same nugget, an unanswered prayer, but an answer:
I am meant for more.
I am meant for more.
- More than putting out arguments between 5 year olds.
- More than taking care of my children and step children and home.
- More than remodeling.
- More than loving my partner.
- More than all of these things, no matter how good it all is, is the truth.
The truth is that I am a seeker and always will be. I will always have to seek to grow, and seek to accept myself.
I am meant for myself. And for God (insert Spirit/Universe/Lifeforce, etc. if my “God” word is triggering for you.)
And I have to figure out what that means.
So, Okay Mexico. Do your magic on me. Help me see. Help me learn.