Monday, April 7, 2014

Levels of disaster

On one level, the whole sorry saga of Malaysian Flight 370 is faintly ridiculous. The ill-fated airliner flew into oblivion while Malaysian air traffic controllers simply couldn't be bothered to notice that an airliner was flying over their territory, drastically off course. On another level, the loss should be a wakeup call to aviation administrators to collect data from planes in flight in real time, something that is technologically feasible and long overdue.

On a third level, the level at which a 3-year-old kid in New Zealand, a child of one of the plane's passengers, is continually asking his mom, "When will daddy be coming home," it's heartbreaking.

The plane and its passengers are almost certainly lost. It would be good if they could locate the craft, or at least its black box, and then get to the business of honoring the memories of the dead. Hopefully, this will be an alert to responsible authorities to get their heads out of their back sides and start paying attention to airline safety in a world still large enough for an airliner to vanish.

© Michael Huggins, 2014. All rights reserved.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Seeing, not wanting

Sometimes, you get in a frame of mind where you are simply a spectator of each moment as it happens, not holding an opinion about it but merely observing, and all the struggles of your self-will--the girl you want to ask out, the boss you want to tell off, the new car you are saving up for--are still present to your conscious mind but become something of an irrelevant side show, a movie running in a small corner of your mental screen, with the volume turned off.

This may happen through some mental discipline such as meditation or simply by a small triggering event, as simple as suddenly noticing a falling leaf or watching someone pedaling a bicycle. Everything is the same and yet everything is suddenly changed. Every leaf on a tree or pebble on your path is a matter of grave and deep interest. You seem to see everything and need nothing. In its own way, it is like seeing an X-ray of the world.

You know that within 15 minutes, you may very well be back to your customary egotistical, complaining, deluded self, but while the sudden detachment lasts, it is as though you are on a different plane, and you begin to think what may bring the feeling back again. Since you know it is possible, you know that when it returns, you will welcome it.

© Michael Huggins, 2014. All rights reserved.