Saturday, March 20, 2010

Off I go ...

by J J Cohen

I don't love plane flights, mainly because they make even nonclaustrophobic me feel the protagonist of an Edgar Allen Poe short story, but the nighttime flight across the Atlantic is different. No matter how many times I make the journey (five overseas trips this year: York, Siena, Berlin, Copenhagen for papers, and a family trip that brings us from London to Barcelona), it never becomes routine: knowing that beneath the plane the waves of a rough sea tumble, knowing that we are racing towards the sunrise on earth's other side ... an incurable romantic, me.

I'm on my way to York. No doubt I will be using the dark solitude of the flight to rewrite my paper for the conference, just as I did when I presented at Leeds last year. A glass of wine with dinner, then in the dimmed light of the cabin I'll scribble away in monastic selfcircumscription. Yes, if monks flew in airplanes in the Middle Ages and wrote lectures that theorize the affirmative challenge of Jewish neighboring within the textual unconscious ... yup, very like a monk.

Au revoir, and see some of you on the other side.


Anonymous said...

Best of luck!

This old world is a new world said...

Yes, planes are vile, no question. I admire anyone who can work on a plane. I can do so for about an hour before I have to switch off my brain and shift into a vegetative state to survive.

Hope the trip is good: York is fabulous, so I'm willing to be you'll have a great time.

Jeffrey Cohen said...

Thanks for the good wishes! The plane trip was quiet and calm. I got a little work done, enough that I feel better about the paper I'll present Wednesday. Now I'm seated on a train with a 3 hour trip ahead to York ... and endless day, but it will be worth it!