Fear of Flying
Flying over China our jet suddenly lost altitude. Passengers screamed and flight attendants hit the ceiling. Our altitude kept falling until the pilots regained control so low to the ground that we could see people below. We flew at that level for a long time then slowly ascended and the flight continued safely to Japan. The pilots may have explained what happened, but I did not understand the Chinese. And so with that experience, I began a new life of extreme fear of flying. Not until years and many flights later, after training in a flight simulator, did I lose most of that fear. But some fear still haunts me.
To ease my remaining fear, I practice several superstitious activities: I must touch the plane’s outer shell, look into the cockpit and have a vivid image of myself doing things after landing. And when my loved one flies, to ease my fears for her safety, I have her carry my favorite I-Ching coins and tell her she must bring them back to me. I don’t believe any of this stuff influences the world, of course. I don’t believe in superstition, but my mind believes nonetheless, and for all the wonderful things she’s done for me, I can’t ignore her.
The wind whispers fears,
as leaves and branches scatter.
A jackal cackles!
Prompt: hayesspencer @ d’verse Poets, challenges us to write a Haibun about “fear and how we overcame it, how something frightened us, how something still frightens us”. The story above is true.