Dani Shapiro
January 23, 2010


Yesterday was a first.  Michael, Jacob and I drove together to the airport, and then they got on one plane going in one direction, and I got on a different plane, going in another.  We said our goodbyes at the gate–my men and I–and then I engaged in a process which has become increasingly second nature to me over the last few years.  First, I settled in my seat, feeling edgy, a bit anxious, fearful, my mind full of “what-ifs”, but instead of succumbing to those feelings, I closed my eyes.

May you be safe, may you be happy, may you be strong, may you live with ease — I repeated silently, again and again as my plane took off.  Safe, happy, strong, live with ease — over and over again, thinking about my husband and son.  I knew I wasn’t praying–not exactly–but rather, expressing a wish, a fervent wish, that we all have safe travels.  What else is there to do, really, but express these wishes?  Earlier in the week, I had spoken with a wise friend who does a lot of traveling, who is constantly on planes heading away from her family.  I asked her how she does it, and her response was this: I think about today, she told me.  Only today, only this moment.  I don’t get caught up in what I have to do tomorrow, or the next day, or the next.  After all, we only have this.  Right here, right now.