Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Day 146: The long, long, long way home(s)

I am sitting on a plane on a runway in New York, on the second leg of my flight to Rome. We are delayed. I spent my layover texting and reading emails. The media-free vacation isn't off to a good start. Staying in touch is it's own addiction.

On my way here, I flew over my home of Long Point, Ontario, Canada.

I pointed out exactly where my mom, dad and sisters were at that moment. My heart ached. I mentally called to them, "Look up! That plane you see. I'm on it. Look! I'm here."

I wanted to parachute down and forget about my life in Los Angeles and my trip to Italy.

I cried.

I wonder if there is a lot of crying on planes. I always think it's just me.


This is a good opportunity to set my intentions for my trip. My intention is to eat amazing food (and forgo veganism for the trip), get a feel for the place, give my mind a rest, give my eyes a feast, laugh a lot and experience the magic of God.

That last one usually makes the record player stop and the room go quiet. But I'm going to Rome, the birth place of Christianity and specifically Roman Catholicism. I was born Roman Catholic so I'm interested to see what all the fuss is about at the Vatican. This is going to be a homecoming of sorts. I hope.

That being said, I brought Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda to read on the plane. Nothing like a yogi from India to get you in the mood for the Pope. I sheepishly admit that I brought it begrudgingly. This book is so thick and heavy! But people go on about it. They say this book changed their lives. I'm due for a life change so I figured I'd read it and find out what all the fuss is about. The title says it all. It's an autobiography of a yogi. I don't know why I was so shocked to learn this. I'm not interested in how a yogi becomes a yogi, even Paramahansa Yogananda. And I dig this yogi. I go to services at his ashram and I have this little trading card taped up in my bathroom so we can converse while I brush my teeth:
"The Last Smile"
Swami Paramahansa Yogananda
Highest Divine Swan of Yoga-Bliss

Taken an hour before his Mahasamadhi
or final conscious exit from the mortal body.
March 7, 1952

Here is an example of a conversation I have with Yogananda while I brush my teeth:

"Hi Yogananda."
He looks back lovingly.

"Should I?"
He looks back lovingly.

"I know, I know. I shouldn't."
He looks back lovingly.

"I'm glad we talked."
He looks back lovingly.

But this book! Ugh. I just can't get into it. I want to want to be into it. But I'm not. I'd rather just look at his face and talk to him. He doesn't say much, but he looks back lovingly.

We are still on the tarmac waiting to take off. People on the plane are very keen on complaining. Is this an American thing or is it a plane people thing? Like we all become one society once we've shared the experience of getting there... the security lines, the flight delays, the flight itself, the unloading, the baggage claim. There is bonding in the complaining.

"Can you believe this?"
"I can't believe this."
"This is ridiculous."
"Absolutely ridiculous."
"Hey, you're fun. want to see the Vatican together?"
"I bet those lines are long."
"Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous."

Oh my. The announcement. We are taking off. See you in Rome! 


  1. It sounds like you went on your very own little Eat, Pray, Love adventure :)

  2. AnonymousJune 09, 2010

    Last week Dad and I were fishing for perch off the shore of Clear Creek. We were staring out into the glasslike lake silently watching our poles, and then he looked up and said to me,"you know, there are a heck of a lot of planes nowadays. Do you really think that many people can afford to fly now that everyone is losing their jobs and everything?" I replied, well....maybe they are all traveling to Italy like Jan. He smiled.

    I think that he was saying hi to you in advance.



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