13 June 2007

call me jack bauer

I imagined today what it’s like to be hanging off a flying helicopter. Say off the bottom of the ladder, swaying as the chopper rises higher over cliffs and a churning ocean.

Sometimes I feel like all I can do is hang on. My hands hurt, I’m trying not to sweat, I’m looking up at the body of the helicopter, and through the roaring winds and blades my only coherent thought is that if I can somehow hold on, and climb up, there’s safety, sanity within reach.

But I’m at the mercy of this machine, this force that is barreling in directions I cannot control. And as the ladder swings, and I flail to get a foothold, fear like ice, I instinctively wrest my gaze from the helicopter.

Suddenly, I see.

The burning sunset. The emerging stars. The horizon, patient, gently curling beyond. And the ocean, the beautiful abyss breathing beneath a million bright lights.

Things I couldn’t see from any place else.

And it occurs to me: how lucky I am to be hanging from this helicopter.


Javier E. said...

Hang on, Sweetie! Don't let go. Your helicopter will eventually have to land...

Naomi said...

Dear Maria-Emiko,

Your mom sent me an email today and pointed me to your blog. I've been friends with your parents since I met your mom at Stanford leading a class of medical students on a 2-week program there. I feel I know you through them. I have to echo what your dad says: Hang in there, girl!

~Naomi (your fellow alumna, class '89)