Exit The Grey

588. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

There are many upsides to modern air travel. Namely, you can get someplace really fast. No more wagon trains, no more pony rides across the prairie. No more months or even days of going only as fast as the wheel can roll.

And, no more transition time. The downside is the same as the upside: you get places really fast. You enter into a grey space called an “airport” and exit from a similar grey space into an entirely different location. Yesterday I began the day walking on the beach while the sun rose over the coast of Belize. I waded into the warm ocean waters of the Caribbean. I swam. And then I packed my bag. 12 hours later I stepped out of the grey Seattle airport into the freezing rain.

My mind can make sense of this rapid change of environment but my body struggles to comprehend it. How can I be in warm summer in the morning and freezing winter by midnight? Enter the grey and things can change very fast. It is a metaphor for our time. While in Belize Lora turned 59, she looked at me and said, “How did that happen?” I thought, “We are always in the grey.” One day you are twenty, you enter the cubicle and emerge 60 on the other side. Whoosh!

I was amused in Houston to hear my fellow travelers huff and gruff about how long their flights were going to take. Another 3 hours! Tom told me that once he flew across the country looking down at the immense expanse that his ancestors crossed in a wagon. He said, “I don’t have that in me. They were made of much sturdier stuff.” When you left your family, it was a good bet that you would never again see them. The word “distance” had an entirely different meaning than it does now. The word “dream” rarely came with an expectation of immediacy.

While away I turned off my phone. We were in a place with a sketchy internet connection so after a day I recognized the boon and stopped trying to be connected. I created distance. All my abstractions fell away, the pace of my expectation slowed to a more human rate, and my dreams took a lung full of air and sighed. “What shall we do now,” I asked. “Just this.”

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