5000 miles to London

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  • There’s something wonderful about life at thirty five thousand feet. Up here the only time the sky isn’t blue is when the sun dances on the horizon or when it’s under the blanket of nightfall, lit only by the moon and the glimmering lights of unimaginably far away stars. From my window seat I see cotton wool clouds that look as comfortable as the ruffled sheets of a bed in the morning. It’s all so perfect from up here where the music of Sigur Ros plays through my headphones providing the perfect soundtrack to this eleven hour scene of transit between Tokyo and London.

    It’s easy to be philosophical at these heights, to breath in deeply and just take time to think as ‘normal life’ is seemingly put on hold for these few hours. This isn’t so much transit as it is stasis. Neither home, nor away, this is the space between those times where time itself is important, floating between what you have to do, what you want to do, and something that reaches far beyond that.

    I recline my seat, sip on my bottle of water, and squint my eyes as I look up at the vast expanse of unbroken blue sky that disappears into space above me. Maybe we’re a little closer to heaven here? Maybe this is as close to God as it’s possible to get while our hearts still beat.

    I’ve flown around the world, reached across the globe to far-flung places, and drawn lines made of vapour trains across familiar and unfamiliar maps. I’ve spent hours sat in window seats watching mile after mile of land and sea beneath me disappear into the distance, yet still the journey has never grown tiresome. It maybe cramped an uncomfortable and not that much fun at times, but really, if you just sit back and enjoy the fact that you’re neither here, nor there, then there really is something quite wonderful about life at thirty five thousand feet.

    I’m a passenger today, but then again, aren’t we all?

  • 13 comments on “5000 miles to London

      • Thanks. The shot is actually zoomed in and then cropped too, so in reality the plane wasn’t quite that close, but yeah I am pretty happy with this shot. There is a lot of “noise” (digital imperfections) in the shot, but I don’t think that takes away from it.

      • Ha! Yes I’ve written stuff like this before on my old ‘Meanwhile‘ site.

        To be fair I don’t like flying as much as I used to. In the last couple of years most flights I’ve done were just little hops on ‘low cost’ airlines. This was the first long haul flight I’ve done since I flew to Australia back in 2010. And yes, as I sat there it really was magnificent flying over Russia looking down at Siberia, enjoying not just one but two sunsets on the same day as we chased the sun west. I’ve had some pretty awesome flights, and this was right up there with them which was good because to be honest, I was very sad to be heading back to the UK under the circumstances I had to.

    1. Your words are so evocative. I hardly noticed the picture but when I looked at it, I realised just why you write so beautifully.

    2. I am pleased with meeting of you Simon Jones. Please remember me from Ikebukuro cafe. My name Katsumi with my friend Sakurako we meeting you and you showing us card. Thank you for tell us of you travel. To us is far away to come and sorry to lose passport. I happy to learn of your flying and your beautiful story I like many.

      I am happy for have picture to with together you. Kakkoii! 🙂
      Please sorry my English.

      • Thank you Katsumi. I do remember you and Sakurako, of course, and the many pictures we took together! 🙂 Don’t worry about your English, as I said to you both at the cafe, it is much better than my Japanese. I enjoyed chatting with you both.

    3. Hi Simon,
      The colour is absolutely sweet and romantic and it seems peaceful and quiet. Love it! The 12 hours in the plane probably was the most peaceful moment you had since your passport disaster even though the destination was somewhere not in your plan. Glad you are back on your track now. Continue enjoying your journey!!!(^_−)−☆

    4. all of us are passengers! in every seat, we find friends, create stories of joy and laughter and make the most beautiful experience. so inspiring…this picture is cool, serene atmosphere!

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