Should we continue trying to travel in March?

Or traveling at all?

Here is where we are. Spring Break is next week. We’re taking a few extra days for a conference and that meant a trip to the airport and that’s where the fun begins.

We flew, today, from Indianapolis to New York. We did that after giving up on a bike ride, which was the right idea, for a change. That allowed us more time, so we were well ahead of schedule and relaxed going to the very large building with the planes attached at odd angles.

Our flight from Indy to JFK was just fine. Arrived on time. The plane pulled into the same terminal we’d use for our connecting flight, an overnight trip to Spain. Here we are, waiting to board the plane to Barcelona.

We got on the plane, let’s assume it is that one, and everything was just fine.

And then someone kicked out the extension cord that connects the plane to the airport’s power. The plane goes dark! But we’re on the ground, so not a problem. Because there’s ground beneath us. I think about all of that ocean we have to fly over — power and gliders and altitude and ocean — but the crew did not seem concerned. The power is restored, either internally, or via that extension cord. Boarding took forever, and so we pushed back about an hour late.

We got out on the taxiway to learn we had to go back to the terminal for a maintenance issue.

And that ate up the entirety of our second-connection window.

But it allowed me to watch two movies, first, Minari.

Lee Isaac Chung wrote and directed the movie. He was just about to give up on Hollywood, taking a teaching job, when he decided to try one more script. Odd, but lovely, Willa Cather became his inspiration.

She drew upon memories of life in the Great Plains and wrote a series of intensely personal works that are among the most moving novels in American literature. She said, “Life began for me, when I ceased to admire and began to remember.”

I wondered if the voice was leading me to these words, so that I would begin to trust in my own. As an exercise, I devoted an afternoon to writing my memories of childhood. I remembered our family’s arrival at a single-wide trailer on an Ozark meadow and my mother’s shock at learning that this would be our new home. I recalled the smell of freshly plowed soil and the way the color of it pleased my father. I remembered the creek where I threw rocks at snakes while my grandmother planted a Korean vegetable that grew without effort.

With each memory, I saw my life anew, as though the clouds had shifted over a field I had seen every day. After writing 80 memories, I sketched a narrative arc with themes about family, failure and rebirth. That’s how I got the idea to write “Minari”; it began for me, when I ceased to admire and began to remember.

I also watched Clerks III, which, I assume, Kevin Smith wrote and directed because he wanted to cash in one more time. Truth be told, I knew this was in the works. I was skeptical. I didn’t realize it had already been produced and released. But here it was, on the plane, full of its own brand of contemporary nostalgia.

The first movie was 23 years ago, so there’s nothing contemporary about this nostalgia. But it bristles a bit that we’ve now become a nostalgia generation. But, befitting our role in this timeline, our self reverence is saved for reference to other media. Star Wars is all over the Clerks trilogy, so much so, there are two meta references right there in the trailer.

Give the third movie this: it is better than the second one, and has, perhaps, the best heart of the series.

Tomorrow, the rest of the journey. Or part of it. Or the beginning of a new side-journey.

Anything is possible.

Except for our booking travel in March, ever again, after these last two years.

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