Sunrise over Taipei

Sunrise over Taipei. Haze and columns of steam blur the otherwise clear view of the city. The sun shines full and strong. A frame of incoming clouds dance lightly around the golden drops illuminating the baby blue of the sky.

Airport ground crews load luggage, food carts, and fuel. It is a well-oiled machine. Ever present invisible hands moving like workshop elves so passengers can board their planes. We fly homeward, forward, backward–the plane takes us to place but it is the passengers who determine the destination; not just the place we will land but the people we will be when we arrive.

The plane is merely a vessel which carries our memories of holiday cheer, moments of grief or a raised voice we would like to forget, and a place of time suspended to reflect on what we are. Seconds blur into minutes blur into hours of waking or sleeping or eating or pondering or forgetting or regretting–or just being.

We have a place where we will arrive but in many ways, we are going nowhere.

So we fly, listening to the constant roar of engines and the quick tapped steps of flight attendants. We stare out our windows or glance at our clocks and wonder if the plane we sit on can change time–give us back something we have lost.

But in the end, all we can do is breath and be and become.

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Paradox

Three minutes till the stroke of midnight and I am sitting alone at Sea-Tac International Airport.

But I am not alone. I am one of many waiting to a board a plane toward something, someone, or somewhere new or–like myself–returning home back to a place I am familiar with.

I think many at gate S15 would rather be athome with friends watching a New Year’s show on TV or at a bar with friends.

It doesn’t matter where we would like to be. We are here.

New Year’s always brings up talk of resolutions and I’ve come to realize that I really don’t like the term mostly because of the baggage that is attached to it. Resolution suggests some massive change or great revelation or new choice to be something better, do more adventurous things, or just “be a better version of yourself!”.

But the truth is New Year’s is just another night. Midnight passes, a new day begins. Yes, it’s a new year and not just another month or work week or weekend, but it is just the passing of time.

I find a great deal of comfort and confusion in this paradox. I have hopes and things I want to accomplish this year but they have not changed because I’m posting this in 2015 instead of 2014. My thought processes are mostly the same, my emotions are what they usually are–every changing and constant like the flow of a river.

I’m not trying to be a party pooper. I’ve just started to understand that life is full of paradoxes that make sense and paradoxes that are monumentally confusing. Beauty is found in the deepest valleys of pain. Sorrow produces the greatest of arts. A moment that seemed so simple and mundane when it was happening looks different when viewed through the lens of maturity and time.

I believe life is about finding a balance in the midst of paradox. I could spend all my time reading about the philosophical implications of paradox, watching a lot of movies that have paradoxical themes, or having discussions with my peers about the mysterious and strange nature of life.

But if I don’t find a balance in the midst of the swirling storm of ideas and thoughts and emotions, I will live my life confused and unanchored.

So today, I will continue to do what I was doing last year–look at the paradoxes of life and pay attention to the moment’s of beauty and perfection and love.

And I will try to remember that life is good and I am glad to be living it.