a transit along the border
between peace and war
the airplane was engineered in imitation of the physics of bird flight. the behavior of birds is famously responsive to weather patterns, which they must sense through slight changes in atmospheric pressure. when the birds don't come, something is wrong. and when the planes don't come, something is also wrong.
in order to fly, birds must eat - as must airplanes, and people. the bird can be an awkward hunter, a vicious killer and an ungraceful eater. or the bird is a vegetarian. but any bird is a better flier than the best of human pilots, probably because birds don't carry bombs.
the best of human pilots drop bombs to feed our planes, to feed our automobiles. there is a discourse surrounding these bombs. and depending on where you are and whose planes get fed this time, it takes different forms. either you learn to be a vegetarian, or you keep dropping bombs.
We are sitting in a park, watching crows and pigeons looking for breakfast. Something strange is in the air - a sound almost inaudible, riding in on the sunbeams, wafting with the breeze. It is the sound of war, poised just beyond the eastern and western horizons, a dark and menacing cloud prepared to burst upward on both sides. We find ourselves suspended between two great pillars of mobilization, tripped out on a heightened awareness for the inevitable.
In the night, as we fitfully sleep, the war erupts. And here, as everywhere, we live the moment vicariously through the media, we are moved by their urgent cadence and serious tones. We are hooked. We are shocked and appalled.
There is a defiance in this motion contrary to mobilization. Us in France. Our leaders on the radio. Their threats and their deadlines. We are nowhere somehow.
There is something eerie in the nearly empty transatlantic flights, the deserted airports. The giant planes navigating between hangar, gate and runway; the workers on the ground. They seem different, slower. The PA echoes differently in the absence of bodies. The space is conspicuously hollow. The repetition of the TVs suspended from the low cheap ceiling one after the other at regular intervals into the depths of the receding space - this becomes obvious. You see them all. It could be a hall of mirrors, a mirage. But it is not, it is real. CNN ad infinitum. War ad nauseum.