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“Oy, You’re in Kafka Territory” Air Travel: Everyday Magic, Day 507

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

That’s what Judy wrote me on Facebook. To catch you up, my flight leaving Burlington, Vt. yesterday was delayed a dozen times then cancelled; I spent the night with Kelly at a hotel; then rode in a taxi for 4.5 hours to Boston to catch a flight here. All good, until my Boston flight was delayed enough to ruin my connection. That’s when I stood in line at the Continental desk and told the woman behind me the whole story and also that I was liable to burst into tears at any moment.

“No problem. I’m a therapist for high school students,” she said, which was fitting since I felt like a high school student jilted by my bad boyfriend airline yet again. “You know, these things happen for a reason. Maybe you’re supposed to meet someone,” she added, looking into my eyes. Within ten minutes, I discovered her story: she and her daughter, a high school senior and singer, were checking out the Berklee School of Music. I told them all about my singing daughter and why she chose McNally Smith over Berklee (smaller student body with much more individualized attention, about half the price, and living in St. Paul is WAY cheaper than Boston).

By the time I got to the head of the line, this woman and I were exchanging emails and hugging, and I was filling in the Continental rep on the insurrection in the Burlington airport last night. He was thrilled to hear that the crowd forced the manager back behind the counter to help them.

In the whirl that followed, I exited one terminal, got very lost walking a series of long moving walkways, found my way to another terminal, had an intimate connection with a an American rep who helped me check in, and shared the whole story with a Homeland Security dude who wanted to hear more about Goddard College.

On the way, I told myself there would be coffee and a donut because drastic times call for caffeine and sugar. Then I stopped short in front of an Express-Spa, and switched out my imaginary coffee and donut for a real smoothie, long time resting in a massage chair and 15-minute massage.

Kafka territory? Definitely, but also Fellini territory crossed with Woody Allen and a dash of The Wizard of Oz. All I have to do is believe I’ve always had the power within me, not so much to get home by sheer will, but to open up to the surprises and connections abounding in each corner.

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