Note: This essay is meant to be read while listening to the above song, as it was the one playing in my ears when I experienced the below. No, you don’t have to listen, but I am endeavoring to recreate the experience with both images and sound that led to the meandering thoughts below. The music adds another layer of sensory experience, and certainly affected why I noticed what I did at the time, so it seems essential. But the author doesn’t insist upon your choosing ‘all or none’ of the art, (which has always struck me as awfully imperious, since everyone knows that art is about one’s experience of it, not what the artist wishes to communicate.) So enjoy – or not – as you will.
Situate yourself with me….
Weather: 88 degrees with splashes of water-from-the-sky-which-are-not-rain
Location: Port-of-Spain, Trinidad airport, Outside
Breezes in the Caribbean are often described as soft. And they are, but not in strength, because they are just as pushy as any others, but rather because as they briskly run across the skin, they incite nothing but pleasant thoughts. As they are devoid of a chill of any kind, it encourages dismissal of their existence, or maybe wonderment that you ever had the desire to tighten a scarf around your neck to keep such moving air – colder at home – from intruding upon warm skin. It’s easy to forget, when such breezes billow, that their Northerly cousins would have evinced goosebumps in dermal alarm.
I am waiting to be picked up. After debarking (a word which always reminds me of something terrible done to a dog, and having nothing to do with the sweet release from the jet), in which you made a kind of peace in the small spaces that you are afforded on planes, you are out in the world again, and it never seems as huge as when one exits the airport into the blue skies/puffy clouds of an ordinary Caribbean day. The flight was fine, thanks, and in fact I can barely remember it. Forgetting it is the best kind of flight experience.
The DHL, American Airlines, and other corporate flags flying right alongside those of the country that I am actually standing in do their whipping in the breeze flag thing. Even though I know that corporations have achieved personhood (according to the US government), I see that now they are attempting statehood as well, which is really no surprise. But any logo, stamped upon a flag that blows in the soft breezes of a perfect Caribbean day looks lovely, colors popping and waving despite their banal associations with package delivery and the unfortunately smelly plane that you barely remember now that real air, made by the surrounding sea and the trees on the hill over there, fills your lungs.