Sitting on a plane, today, reminds me of the odd confluence of flight and want in the first person singular (present) Latin terminology. This flight, FCO-BHX, is no worse than other such in the fallen world post-9/11; that is to say, one is so chivvied, corralled, grilled, herded, and dehumanised by the process of getting from bag-drop to Departure Gate that even an Airbus 320 seat in economy feels like a sanctuary. Albeit one with no lower-back support.

I want/I fly, as Latin has it. Both imply an abandonment of one state of existence (lack; terrestriality) without any certainty in what follows. Owning (up) to a ’want’ requires something of a leap of faith too. Who knows how anyone will feel on receiving the thing which, in its absence, seemed a sine qua non?

Stepping onto a plane or plunging into the dizzy air crystallises the frailty of what connects mortals to the skeins of life. How firmly are anyone’s feet on the ground?

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