What’s The Furthest Place From Here?

Prologue

This poem was inspired by a line I read in the graphic novel What’s the furthest place from here?

The line goes:

All the things we have will be buried in the ground.

Then everything we lose will once more be found.

The idea really took off after a recent trip I took to visit family after nearly 3 years of not traveling anywhere. 

The experience brought up feelings that I don’t have often and feelings that I don’t want to forget anytime soon. It brought up questions that I don’t have an answer to yet.

And now I can’t help but wonder…

What’s the furthest place from here?

If you want to feel something, go to an airport.

Stand at arrivals and watch the people who are laughing, glowing, and crying tears of joy.

If you want to feel something worse, go to departures.

Watch for the people who are visibly upset, anxious, and crying tears of pain and sorrow.

Try not to forget what you see.

You start to realize how mundane every moment of your life is.

You start to wish you could be in arrivals every day.

If only.

If only we saw everyone we loved daily and we were always where we wanted to be.

If only we didn’t have to leave behind these moments that bring us so much purpose.

One day we’ll be in the ground.

Our most prized possessions no longer to be found.

If we go into the heads of the arrival crew we will hear some familiar joyous thoughts.

“They look so different!” They’ve grown so tall!” “I can’t believe it’s been so long!”

Going into the minds of the departures is less exciting.

“When will I see them again?” “Can I afford to come back?” “Will I get this time off next

year?”

Try not to forget how this feels.

The trip itself hardly matters anymore.

It’s these moments that make it memorable.

You start to wish the trip were longer.

You start to wish you had a few more vacation days.

If only.

These moments are only normal to the business travelers.

While we try to remember the last time we took a flight, they’re trying to see how many

reward miles they have.

While we’re anxious at TSA, nervous to miss our flight, confused by the layout: They’re just having an average Tuesday night.

I wonder if the rich, who travel often, still experience this?

A flight every two months might not feel the same as our flight every two years.

Do the wealthy and privileged see their family more?

Or are the cruises an illusion meant to distract their similar sense of numbness?

You start to wish you knew what that was like.

You start to wish you got more than 2 weeks off a year.

If only.

If only things were more equal, we may see each other’s pain more.

If only we valued the same things in life, we would all see our loved ones more.

One day we’ll all be in the ground.

None of our prized possessions to be found.

We breathe the same. 

We worry about the safety of the plane.

We feel similar sadness, joy, anger, and anxiety.

Sometimes we feel nothing at all.

If you want to feel something, go to an airport.

Stand at arrivals and watch the people laughing, glowing, and crying tears of joy.

If you want to feel something worse, go to departures.

Watch for the people who are visibly upset, anxious, and crying tears of pain and sorrow.

Try not to forget what you see.

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