Saturday, April 23, 2011
The Greatest Show On Earth
Somewhere over the vastness of granite and snow, glaciers and white rivers that is Northern Labrador, I thought to take out my Ipod and listen to Franz Joseph's Haydn's Missa Maria Teresa. We were at 35,000 feet and the day was crystal clear, a blameless iridescence of a sky stretching to infinity.
The music seemed like a perfect accompaniment to the magnificence of the landscape beneath me. Unknown and unknowable. The origin of our species. For surely fire formed this black granite, those inhospitable mountains, the deepest gorges. Fire and ice.
I was moved to tears, the combination of the inpenetrable forbidden landscape that slipped beneath me accompanied by the glorious music of Haydn which has never failed to affect me deeply.
I refused to be frustrated by the idea of flying over my province of Newfoundland and Labrador on my way to New York and then retracing this journey again. A flight that should only take four hours ballooned to 11, plus layovers, plus commutes that tallied to nearly 24 hours of travelling.
The clear azure of the day flooded this incredible panorama: highest mountains and blackest chasms strung with the milky pearls of glaciers and frozen rivers weaving and threading through the tapestry.
The panorama finally slipped away and I took a moment to survey my fellow passengers, hoping to catch the glance of a kindred spirit. All the window blinds on the plane were down apart from mine. Everyone was watching their mini-screens or asleep.
And no one had seen the greatest show on earth beneath their feet: three hours of shattering beauty.