In case you’re not up-to-date on your current events, there is a 1 in 3200 chance that you (or I) could be killed by a falling satellite before Saturday.
This falling satellite represents the latest in a string of disasters (earthquake, tornado, hurricane) that I have ardently hoped would bring excitement to these sleepy last days of summer. This very moment could be the opening credits to the disaster-film-version of your life. Think Armageddon. Everything seems normal in the beginning. But, little beknownst to you, a falling satellite (or asteroid, really, take your pick) from space is heading straight for your town. How will you survive?
Most likely, you just will, and you won’t think anything of it. But I think there are a few of us out there who relish the thought of a thrill. Most of these people go on to become real life Bill Paxtons and chase tornadoes out in Oklahoma or something. I chose a career in publishing, so the only hope I have for this new narrative for my life is to be just that average Amanda who gets thrown into an impossible situation. I wish for this more often than not – I wish that I could be tested, somehow.
I just finished Susan Sontag’s In America, and one of her characters in the very beginning remarks that he loves being caught in an earthquake. On page 17 he says “I like the feeling of being reduced to my own resources. Of having to do nothing but cope.” I dog-eared that line; I love that line.
And I think that’s why I thirst for travel. Because really what you are doing is preparing for the elements; you pack what you think you’ll need in a bag, set off and cope with what happens to you – be it food poisoning or river rafting or language learning. When you travel, you open the narrative of your life to infinite more possibilities, and in being reduced to your own wits and resources, your character becomes developed in ways you couldn’t imagine just sitting in your cubicle, writing this blog entry.
Hastily written and dedicated to Mrs. Samantha Sullivan.