Waving at the Vanishing Tail Lights of an Airplane

By | September 5, 2013


I looked up from the passenger seat while driving around finishing mundane chores and there it was, a big regal plane descending slowly from the sky, its lights blinking glittering little stars. Remembering the last time I was on an airplane that was landing in Kuwait Airport, I remember how I was glued to the plane’s window, checking out the landmarks of Kuwait and trying to decipher the street map before my eyes to locate where I call home. Upon recalling that memory, I began waving to the plane and saying hello. 

Three waves later I felt silly, bordering on ludicrous even. There I was, a passenger in a car waving at an airplane in the air. No one can see me from the plane, not the captain, nor the passengers glued to their windows. I’m as invisible as a black pixel, undetectable from that height, and my eager waves were for nothing. My waving hand back down to rest beside me and I lowered my gaze. I waved and no one saw me, and no one will ever see me. How many things we do in life that no one can see, or will ever know about? How many times was I a white dot on a white wall, living in my very own bubble that will yield no recognition whatsoever?

Do I need someone, anyone, to know about things I do? Why would I need it in the first place? Encouragement? Recognition? What kind of satisfaction that comes from society’s approval? What if I don’t grant it? Does it mean whatever I did is meaningless, or means nothing? Should be only be doing something for other people to see? How many times before have I done things for myself or for others that no one ever saw? Or watched but chose not to see? Or seen but never appreciated or recognised? Or did see and admire but chose to keep silent about it? Did that ever stop me from doing what I want to do or give back the way I like?

No. Never. Because the single most important person that should know already knows, and that person is me. It’s enough that I know. It’s enough that I remember. It’s enough that I see and appreciate, encourage myself and debate my actions, and that is what counts in the end.

I lift up my arm again and wave, a happy smile on my face, until the plane’s tail lights vanish from my sight. I don’t feel silly this time, I don’t need someone to wave back at me, because I know someone might be or might not be waving back at me even if we can’t see each other.

4 Responses to “Waving at the Vanishing Tail Lights of an Airplane”

  1. daggero says:

    An excellent post for a very long time .Well written and full of true feelings . Bravo

  2. Eiman says:

    Well, your post reminded me with something a scholar have said once. She was wondering why do Americans celebrate the discovery of America every year like it did not exist before European landed their ships on its shores. Things, actions, even lives need to be exposed and witnessed by others (outside its own circle) in order for it to be acknowledged as real. She then said that it is almost like saying: if a tree fell in the forest and there was no ear to hear it, no eyes to see it, then the tree did not fall. I personally take this as an explanation for people’s desire to share their experience and even write their history. The more something is exposed and witnessed the longer we enjoy it, and the stronger it affects our contentment. it deepens our pleasure. Sharing an experience is a kind of documentation, where people’s reactions validate your initial feelings about it (happy, proud, angry, sad…etc) which is exactly what you are doing here in this blog Danderma!! Although you always insist that it is for you only, this is not quite accurate, because if it was you would not activate the comments section, or at least you would not bother answering these on a regular basis. In my field I constantly hear artists insisting that they do not care about the audience opinion, they do art for themselves, to feel content and enjoy the creative process, but it is not true. This is what they want to believe because they know deep inside that they are very sensitive and cannot handle judgment. What is my proof for that? well, if they do this art (you write these posts) for them selves only, why do they bother putting it out there in the first place? should not they keep it in their studio, house, (your journal) and perhaps occasionally show it to people in their own circle?… Bottom line Danderma, creative people (including you) need to be seen and heard.. This is how they can make a difference in the world and whenever they question their ability of making a difference (like you waving your hand) they get stressed out about waisting their great potential on silly actions. So, they try to calm themselves and tell it that it is OK to do insignificant things, they are entitled to..

    • danderma says:

      Interesting point of view indeed! It makes sense in a way, but lets take me for example now, not every thing I do in my life ends up on the blog, or shared to anyone except myself. Since no one can see them and it makes no difference to anyone that can be traced back to me that is, does it mean it’s less meaningful than things I do and publicise, or get recognition for? Does it mean that people should only do things as long as others can appreciate them, but once that appreciation is no longer received, they should stop?

      It’s like throwing a pebble in a lake. You see the ripples but you don’t think it will make a difference to anyone, how do you know a creature lurking beneath the surface won’t be affected by it? Perhaps it was about to be eaten but then the ripples alarmed him and he got away. Just because I do something and no one seems to care, doesn’t mean it doesn’t effect someone. It’s like the saying we have, do good and throw it to the see and someone, somewhere, will benefit from it… this is my point :)