Chasing simplicity. Thoughts on being alive.

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Golden light, August.

My third flight in August took me to Hong Kong airport. Beyond the large windows, the sight was nothing short of magnificent. Walls and walls of lush green mountains rise up steep, and when they plateau out they form undulations and cradles, highlighted by sunlight, contoured by shadows.

Hong Kong wasn’t my final destination. Not that it mattered. I find that the things forever seared into my memories are just a string of random events that happened while I was waiting for something else better to happen. That time I sat on the kerb in Fitzroy eating potato calzones with my husband. My baby son trying to floss. Op-shopping with my friend when I was jobless. Yes, those moments heavy with quiet joy.

Anyway, this flight, a middle aged Jewish man sat a few rows in front of me, across from the aisle. I noticed him taking his seat, wearing a black suit and a black broad brim hat. He started reading. All his meals arrived wrapped in an unbelievable amount of cling wrap, clearly labelled. Later, I noticed the Jewish man falling asleep. The sky was no longer teeming with clouds; instead, warm golden sunlight saturated the atmosphere. The light weaved its way inside the giant metallic flying machine, landed on the man’s tray table, illuminating the aged grains of the black leather book, and its tattered paper edges. Worn. Beloved. Reread countless times.  In the golden light, the book looked magical.

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