Airplanes are one of my favorite places to write. Maybe it's because there isn't anything else to do. (I'm not much for watching movies or flirting with the cabin crew. And, even the most amazing display of clouds get old fast.)
Today I'm in a plane flying from Copenhagen to Austin. And, I'm writing.
It occurred to me that I'm almost never in the same place when I write about things. However, the people that read it are pretty much always in the same physical location—sitting at their computer at work or in their room at home, for example.
Writing in vastly different locations charges me. The changing settings inspire me—they bring new ways for me to look at what I'm doing. New feelings and thoughts surface. I get to learn new lessons. I don't think I'd write—or create anything at all, for that matter—if my world wasn't constantly shifting.
Would reading in different places yield the same effect? Would the written word—a book, web site, blog, doesn't matter—provide a different value for the reader if consumed, say, on a Mediterranean cruise packed full of geezers versus sitting outside a cafe in Lawrence, Kansas?
Maybe. Maybe not. As for myself, I can't remember where I was when I read anything. It's because the place itself evaporates once you let yourself become enmeshed with the words.
I think that people long for this evaporation of their surroundings. We all have places we'd like to disassociate ourselves from—our boring office, the computer lab at school, the room at our parents' house with so many memories and emotional attachments. Reading is a cheap and easy way to get away.
And, if the place itself was super fun then why would you want to waste the experience by disappearing into page after page of boring, old words?
Then again, why do I choose to write and write when I could be diving more deeply into whatever moment I've gotten myself into?
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