Thursday, March 29, 2012

the travel that wasn't

No leaving on a jet plane for me, today.  I arrived at LAX to go - not to New Mexico, as my state-loyal baggage tag would suggest, but to Charlottesville, for a day's meeting tomorrow.  Only my flight was, apparently, so very delayed that I wouldn't make the connection in Chicago, and so they'd rebooked me for tomorrow.  Not much use, when I was traveling to a one-day event.  So I pleaded in my best pathetic and eloquent manner, and had the cost of the non-refundable flight refunded, and slunk back to campus, where I felt (next Tuesday's H. G. Wells class reading doubtless has something to do with this) every bit the Invisible Woman.

What's shattering to me is how much I found myself angst-ridden and bereft at having two days' worth (today and Saturday) quiet airplane space snatched away from me (o.k., I was also crowing at having snagged upgrades for the two big legs of the trip), let alone the quiet of a hotel room.  It's not that I don't enjoy being at home; and it's not that I wasn't pretty upset at missing friends and good discussion, too.  And it's not that I haven't just been Away.  But I so enjoy the cocoon of traveling (even if the flights had had wi-fi, I would have pretended to myself that they didn't), whether to get work done (plenty of that), or to read (my latest download, Jonah Lehrer's Imagine: How Creativity Works, is particularly compelling, even if I've learned that my best ideas come in the shower not because of something mysterious involving water ions, but because I'm relaxed, so my right brain works more flexibly and happily).  There is, of course, a moral in all of this, but I wish that I hadn't taken this way of discovering it.

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