Plane letter for Makassar

For tem

Imagine that you are on a plane.
Perhaps you are sitting next to a companion;
perhaps you are next to someone you don’t know.
The sky is blue up here and the clouds are below you.
The plane might have had some turbulence—
for now, it is steady as a surgeon.
Breathe deep and exhale.
You are on your way.
This all sounds like a relaxation tape—
I hope you’re laughing at how ridiculous I sound.
All I have to say is jangan kwatir,
jangan stress,
jangan malu.
Jangan is a negative, but in this case
it is positive—
banish your fear, your anxiety.
Enjoy the places and people and humidity.
Eat some seafood.
Find yourself a Makassar mate.
Be professional.
Dance and be merry and
have a flirt (not like I need to tell you!).
Compare Java gin with Sulawesi gin.
Live the dream, remember how it feels,
and then bring that feeling home with you
to remind you (whenever you need it)
that you have done this.
You. Up there
with the best of them.
August 9th 2012


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