Wednesday, December 13, 2017

In a mirror, darkly

Just before midnight, our Boeing 737-700 “Tyra Haraldsdatter” landed in the cold, almost tangible, silence of Umeå. Alone in the Polar night, I waited for my taxi as the “external world” slowly faded away.

Then, today at lunch, a deafening roar suddenly made the windows rattle. I looked out and saw a formation of 12 fighter jets racing out towards the Baltic. For a split second, I thought that war had come. Then, I realized that it was just time for the traditional Christmas tree formation flight.

Mirror universes; I blog beef with pesto and red wine from Argentina. But then again, the Democrat Doug Jones defeats the Republican Roy Moore in staunchly conservative Alabama in the wake of #metoo. Perhaps we will always be oscillating between the highest and the lowest in each of us? On the plane up from Frankfurt I found parts of a poem by Michael Ondaatje that I had written down in my Moleskine:

“All this
darkness and stars
but now
under the Napa Valley night
a star arch of dashboard
the ripe grape moon
we are together”

If nothing unexpected happens, I will remain on the ground for a little more than two months. This also means that I am ready to sum up my 2017 travels. With Russia cancelled, the only new country this year was Tanzania. In total, I visited 10 countries and flew 60,172 miles (which is 15k more miles than last year). 

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