That Bastion of Calm –

So I’m finally home after two weeks on the road – half of which I feel like was getting back from England.

I can’t speak much about the details of working with GHI, you guys will just have to wait until round about June to catch it on the tv, and keep your eyes peeled for some little tidbits between now and then over at But what I can say was that it was truly a brilliant experience. The case was fantastic, the team was fantastic, the crew was fantastic, England was fantastic – the whole thing.

The entire experience has been a humbling one. I like to believe there’s Reasons for everything, and from day one when I sent in my email and picture and heard back with a request for a video, the process went out of my hands and beyond me. Out of some six thousand applicants during that first round, I was so lucky to have been picked. To have made it through the process to finally get the go-ahead phone call was a near-spiritual experience. Never moreso in my life have I so fully given myself up to exactly where I was supposed to go –

And now on the road, I’m doing my best to be aware of the why. Why me? Why here? Why now? Why has my life been propelled in this extreme direction? I’ve met some truly amazing people on the road, some of the finest people I’ve known. Some of which I’ve connected with on a deep, reverberating level that I don’t understand. Be they just very like souls or be there something deeper, something that speaks to past-lives, I don’t know. I’ll leave that up to your individual spiritual sensibilities. But something’s happening here. And not only was it interesting to watch and pay attention specifically to, but to embrace experience and new friends as fully as I could. Realization or not, that alone elevated the experience to something magical.

Getting home was not such a magical experience. When I wasn’t exhausted and longing for a bed, I surprised myself by staying in a decent mood. Anticipating the six to seven hour flight from England, I stayed up all night before (no difficult task, a last night in town, goodbyes to new friends and conversation until the dawn, I was scrambling to shower and pack by the time I hit the lobby to catch my ride). Three hour car ride and Heathrow like an ant colony, I managed to catch the flight just fine and we got off in time.

New York was experiencing wet weather. Thick clouds, strong wind, and heavy rain made the approach miserable. I felt like Jack Ryan trying to catch the USS Dallas. Next time I shoulda just sent a freakin’ memo. As soon as we broke into our descent the plane started hopping and rocking. One dip lasted about twice as long as expected and elicited some yelps from the passengers. Sitting in the furthest back row I knew we were in for it when the attendant grabbed the sides of his seat and said, “This is going to be a rough one.”

But I managed to smile through it. Perhaps some blend of sleepiness and a touch of Irish music a few tracks before, and I enjoyed the bumps, taking confidence that that day would not be my day, and if it was, well, that’d have been random.

Upon passing customs and immigration at JFK, my duffel in hand, I went to check in for my connecting to catch the suggestion that it was cancelled, only to wind up at a closed terminal, crossing the street in gusting wind that had me pressing down on my cap and bent 45 degrees. If that wasn’t enough indication, I hit terminal two, stood in line for thirty minutes, and got final confirmation that indeed my trip to Denver was cancelled, no, I said, I had no one to stay with in the New York area, and the soonest flight was Monday – nope, actually, Sunday has a connecting through Minneapolis. Book it, I said, and wandered into the grimy terminal to curl up on my bag and get some rest. Around eleven I stood in a much shorter line, made sure to smile and ask if the workers were rested and doing okay (they weren’t on both counts, but I made an effort to be easy and sympathetic – I thought I hated bitchy customers at a movie rental store, I could never do their job), got the okay and wandered through security to sleep at a gate. Woke up to bustling crowds and airport food too expensive for my hunger.

I finished the Sweedish novel Let the Right One In (a wonderful and brilliant novel. Everything I wanted it to be, and better than the film – which is fantastic in and of itself – it truly does the work of real horror literature, studying childhood, love, coming of age, playing with themes of light before a deep, rich darkness. I highly recommend it).

Twenty minutes before the flight I found I was at Gate 20, not B20, and ran for the shuttle to terminal 4, only to discover Delta had botched the seating assignments and had people just sit wherever. They wouldn’t check my bag and I had to stow it, the whole while waiting for a petite and perky woman with sticks in her hair to ask me to check it from my kung fu grip. Another half hour waiting on the tarmac, we finally hit the sky. Minneapolis was quiet and pleasant after the bustle of JFK, and after only two hours took off for a remarkably bump-less flight into Denver, where it was snowing thick flakes. But the landing was smooth (I recommend snowstorms to rainstorms tenfold). I managed to collect my bag at the claim (which I fully expected to be lost, considering all else that had happened, as the icing on the cake), spun through the doors and caught my lovely girlfriend, and we drove off into the snowy night.

A hottub and a full night’s rest on an actual bed again, and I’m human once again!

Edit to add: I should mention I flew Virgin Atlantic from England. They have a very pleasant way about them that I can’t complain about. The entrance was just bumpy as hell due to the weather. They were fine. It was as soon as I hit Delta for the connecting that I ran into my little problems…

Is there advice here? Yes, I think so. No, it’s not to avoid Delta at all costs (just rainstorms). Even if you’ve spent forty eight hours traveling home, it makes for a good story and odds are your fit at the people trying to rebook and reorganize is just one of thirty, and you’ll likely feel better to take it slow and be polite. Maybe I’m odd, but I like spreading a little peace and being the calm guy while around me the world spins in chaos.

Also, go with where you feel like you should be. Pay attention to what life has for you. It’s fun and enriching, and I can guarantee, no matter how rich and colorful already, will make the world around you even more so, perhaps adding even a touch of sparkle, like that sunlight on fresh snow as it melts on a spring Monday morning.

3 thoughts on “That Bastion of Calm –

  1. the CoR says:

    I dunno man. I'm gonna go with the don't fly Delta message. I took Delta home from England once and had a pretty much identical yelping, rough passage experience. But really, you're right. Your last paragraph has a very Ferris Bueller feel to it that I think is always a good reminder.

  2. Indeed.. well said! 🙂

  3. Anlynne says:

    I can't wait to catch the new season. So glad things went well.

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