Flying High


I have a bit of an obsession with airplanes and always find myself looking up to watch them flash across the sky.

I must quickly add that I have no great love of flying and am one of those people for whom turbulence is a teeth-grinding experience no matter how much anyone tries to reassure me.

But plane-gazing from terra firma gets me wondering about all the people on board: whether they’re coming or going, looking forward, backward, outward, downward, upward, noward; are they chatting, reading, eating, sleeping, flirting, worrying, praying, listening to music, watching a movie, smiling, sobbing; are they aware of where they are and conscious that people like me are madly inquisitive about them …..

And every single time I watch a plane, I hear echoes of my school days when some of my class formed a band and used to sing Leaving on a Jet Plane. They were heady days in 1973/4 when we were full of dreams, uncertainties, hopes, togetherness, girlish giggles and amo, amas, amat, amamos, amatis, amant …

Where do YOUR thoughts go when an airplanes flies into your line of vision? 




Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

24 thoughts on “Flying High”

  1. Ha! amō , amās, amat, amāmus, amātis, amant Oh Lordy – there are memories I have considered for decades. That was grade 7 for me and I used Latin as a language elective to avoid French. MY Latin teacher was Mr. Smith and he was an ex-military man. I’ll be conjugating Latin verbs for the rest of my life. I have to say though, I can often see the root Latin in many English and French words. It was a helpful class.

    Yeah, airplanes are very cool. There is a Canadian produced show called Mayday (here) [I think it is called Air Crash Investigations in the UK] that plays in over 144 counties and 26 languages. It focuses on the investigation of airplane crashes and how they could have been avoided. I find it fascinating. They are on their 15th season and have about 130 episodes. All the inner workings of planes and how they fly are laid out during their investigations. The loss of life is sad (most times – although there have been some spectacular crashes where no one was hurt) but the investigation is fascinating.

    Fun topics Jean!

    1. Hi Paul, interesting that Latin has stayed with you too. I find it very useful still in terms of its connections to words in English.
      I don’t think the TV programme on airplanes would be my cup of tea. It would make me even more nervous on planes that I already am and that’s saying something”

  2. I have a take it or leave it regarding airplane rides..I did have the experience of a trip to the Carolinas and flew. The view from high above amazed me as the terra firma looked like “tufted velour cushions..and the boats way below looked like aluminum pieces’ what I thought were birds were other planes..We did run into a storm on the way back and that was nerve-wracking (haven’t been on a plane since). It is a great invention, allowing people to get from here to there especially across the ocean. The plane accidents are tragic and not having control over things is scary to me. The aerodynamics of the plane are beautiful..the patterns they make in the sky when they take off are interesting. All and all they are fascinating.

    1. Joni, love your descriptions.
      The lack of control while flying is a big issue alright but I suppose the same could be said about trains and buses.
      Like you, I adore the patterns they make in the sky.

  3. I’ve only ever been on two planes in my life — both UK internal flights. I prefer my feet on the ground, whilst rationalising that they’re better there as I’m not contributing to all that pollution. Vapour trails looks so pretty from afar, but…

    1. Hi Lennon, yes, there’s always that sense of concern that a plane could run into difficulty but somehow it always seems to feel far more likely when one is flying that admiring the planes from the ground.

  4. Flying is irrational to me, it makes no sense, because even though I know there are solid physical laws supporting it, I cannot fathom how it is possible that this HUGE machine can lift off the ground. That being said, I accept that it does, because I need it to travel to see family and friends, and my acceptance allows me to get on the plane, basically unafraid, and often fall asleep. Trusting that if I’m supposed to get where I’m going I will. So far, I’ve not been let down, lol.

    1. Love your laid back attitude to flying and wish I could fall asleep on planes rather than trying to keep my eye out for stuff I should report to the pilot ~ like ‘Is that wing a little loose?’

  5. I worked in the industry for years and loved having airline passes (no retirement passes though, sadly). I still love flying, even though the airlines make it more difficult all the time, whittling away at seat sizes. I love the views – seeing the curve of the earth and the frozen north from an international flight, or the fields laid out in lovely geometry in the midwestern US. So when I see planes fly over, I think “home planet” and I think “adventure”.

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