Is it the lack of sufficient oxygen at high altitudes that causes people to believe that what they see out their airplane window might actually be an Ansel Adams? I’ve seen hundreds of airline wing photos. Chances are, most people reading this have at one point or another taken a picture of an airplane wing. It is like taking a picture of the sunset. It just don’t give much back later on. When’s the last time you looked through photos and said, “Gosh, wasn’t that a great sunset?” or “Wasn’t that a beautiful view of the airplane wing?”
So what is it? As we suddenly snap out of our anesthetization to the fact that we are 37,000 feet off the ground hurtling around the globe at 500 miles per hour in an aluminum tube that could be ripped into tiny pieces at any moment by the explosives in a terrorist’s shoe, apparently air travel momentarily becomes a thing so miraculous and astounding to our pea brains that it must be captured for posterity.
I don’t know, but something unknown between Paris and L.A. made me think I should capture this particular moment. Was I high or sick off the stench of blue fluid wafting from the lavatory? What I do know is that I was in coach, the seat wasn’t reclining at an angle that was anywhere near comfortable, the second Ambien was just starting to kick in, and wherever we were, it wasn’t anywhere I cared to land. Yet for a split second I was stunned that we were flying over ice and there wasn’t a soul to save us for miles around.