the setting rising sun.
with the onset of this journey the longest day returns to my life. a day which unravels on the ends and opens it's seams up to another, a day which begins and ends is ways untouchable to the human mind, a day where the truth behind the illusion of time is paradoxically told through the experience of time contraction and expansion.
Austin 7:20 am turn into 7:50 am and the plane finally leaves for LAX. "Obligated" to give the flight crew that arrived in late the night before more time to rest. Yes indeed! Give them all the time they want! They're flying thing! 6 Hour layover in LAX... Friends meet me and we go to Manhattan for brunch and a stroll on the beach. It's obvious here that humans are eager for connection to nature - playing, rolling and twirling their day at the beach. It's also obvious to me that their day will end before mine as they return to the box coated slopes that make up the near by city tangled by highways and sprinkled liberally with Star Bucks.
The typical controlled chaos of boarding ends with the force of rockets lifting us towards the sky and across an ocean that must seem like a lake to the veteran pilots. Time passing becomes very noticeable as the hours start ticking like a windup clock. I know then that I am a silent man walking down and endless railway under the cover of heavy rain, determined to go to the next station that will have me and my destiny rest.
11 Hours from LAX and three funny movies later Tokyo has become more than a blip on the map and we fall back to the ground like a bird claiming a branch for its nest. We have been chasing the sun and feel that we almost caught it, but this day has stretched and stretched as we arrive to the land of the rising sun only to find it setting. We are shuffled out of the plane searched by security and back on in just the time it takes to make us feel that it was unnecessary. But alas, a familiar scene, viewing the sunset behind mount Fuji from the terminal perch makes it all to worth wile to scuffle around the Narita airport.
Back onboard and back to the place where my butt screams to run from, I sit again, buckle up, listen to the murmur of pilots and crew and take note that the ill smelling, irritable bowel syndrome, elderly japanese woman has left for the comfort of her family and will not be joining the yelping baby that has been signaling our every inhalation, and will continue to do so for the next 7 hours onto Singapore.
1 am, or so, Singapore time brings us back to the ground. Well fed and entertained, I say so long to my new friends and separate from the bunch like a grape rolling off the table and falling onto the clean plate where the city of Singapore lay, waiting to be enjoyed like a meal. A couple of hours later I slip into a sterile hotel bed for my 5 hours of horizontal joy. Ahhhh. sleep. i remember that. but the call of the dawns light pulls me to the streets where I search for temples and visions that make Singapore such a treat. I am not disappointed at all. The Sri Miraimmam Temple welcomes me with reeded horns and drums pounding out a vigorously celebration of a young child's soul being here. I am not even tempted to lift my camera for this as I feel a part of it all ready and just want to just be present to share the song. Then the priest offers me prasad and I know I am where i need to be, always.
I stroll the carefully placed streets and snap a few shots from the sweet smiles and beautiful arrangements of life that surround me. The heat begins to soak me with sweat as the streets busy with people and remind me the bus back to the airport is soon to come. There at the hotel I see one of my new friends also awaits the bus and the continuation of our journeys onto India.
The airport is alive with people from everywhere around the globe. It is clean and friendly and the smiling people at the information desks actually have information to share! This is the Singapore I know, who needs chewing gum? But I sure could use some real sleep! 4 Hours later a plane full of creatures takes off to Bangalore and I am one. 4 More Hours and we are there.
India. This time the rhythm and throb of the shoulder to shoulder crowd awaiting departing passengers to reunite with or to victimize seems like an old friend I am happy to see. Two hours later, and a few times around a dark Sultanpayla neighborhood I am delivered to the Home of the Aunt of my colleague and dear friend Anuradha. Her Aunt and Uncle graciously greet me, feed me the most wonderful Mango Yogurt and send me off to bed in a room that bears a sign on the wall that says, "To a friend's house the road is never long." Suddenly my endless day seems to have flown by, like the brief passing of a white swan.