Activity and Energy

March 09, 2004 at 05:20 PM

Category: Literature & Writing

An excerpt from an essay I'm writing, giving background to the inspiration for a proposal for (maybe) my 4th year project:


I was thousands of feet above the ground on an evening flight to Toronto. The cabin was quiet with most of my fellow passengers dozing in their seats as we cut through the dark sky. The interior lights were dim allowing me to peer out the tiny airplane window as I looked for signs of civilization in the darkness below.

I noted how the presence of farmers, rural homeowners and lonely truck drivers were precisely pinpointed in the speckles of lights that were far and few in between; glowing clusters indicated small towns. I wondered about all the people who must be getting ready for bed at this very moment, or perhaps they were cuddled in front of their televisions. Although I could not see actual people from this height, the electricity that flowed through the space they occupied marked their existence.

Hours passed by and finally an announcement was made to indicate that we would be approaching Toronto shortly. I will always remember the breathtaking moment of watching the clusters of lights getting bigger and closer together until finally the entire horizon exploded with illumination.

A mass of moving car headlights snaked between grids of streetlamps. Brightness emitted from the pores of all the stores and restaurants open late and from the rows upon rows of homes. At that moment, I felt that I could see the entire city from my seat in the air as if it were laid out in front of me like a map of energy.

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