Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Takeoffs and Departures

While it seems like it was just yesterday (or last evening to remain consistent to the time of day at which he arrived) that I was picking up Rob at the airport to begin his latest journey East, it is in fact this very day that I shall deposit him back at the airport to begin his latest migration West. Once again geography shall separate him from the rest of us.  The principal focus of this edition of his Eastern adventures was work-related.  I hope that all went well on that front - although I suspect that no answer to that question shall be known for some time yet. 

For my son I hope that when that question is answered, however it is answered, it is in fact an answer that brings him peace.  I see him infrequently any more and even when he is in the same time zone, most of my time with him is spent in the car to and from the airport but I recognize the look - not in his eyes but buried someplace just a bit further out of view (behind them perhaps) - for I have seen it on my own face too many mornings to count over the first four and one-half decades of my own life.  There is a trace of something unsettled there - a tell-tale sign of discord.  Something akin to a stone being skipped across the surface of the Sea of Tranquility perhaps.  Dissonance where one would hope to find resonance in residence.  Such a condition may be unavoidable.  We are Irish after all - a people prone to bouts of melancholy. 

This morning Rob and I shall perform again what has been a ritual of ours several times a year for these past three:  the airport farewell.  And as I weave my way back into the line of cars pulling away from the "Departing Flights" area outside the terminal, he will walk through its automatic doors on his way to catch yet another flight.  A flight transporting him from the place where he was born to the place he currently resides.  Is it taking him home?  Is it returning him from home to someplace else?  Or is it simply moving him from Point A to Point B?  I know not for certain.

I simply hope that Rob does.  He is the only one who needs to know.  And there is nothing worse than not knowing the answer to that question.  For the answers to all of the other questions lie beyond the answer to that one and answering them without knowing the answer to that one can be difficult....

....if not impossible altogether. 

-AK

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