Arcs

IMG_8368webBut for two things, traveling the gentle curve between New York and southern Africa was uneventful. The first was at the new Heathrow Terminal 5, where a grand plaza of fountains is bracketed by a pair of black granite walls, each with a rainbow of letters that make light verse of airport codes. The second was also an arc, actually two arcs. The plane was over southern Africa when the sun came up. The sky was perfectly clear. 30,000 feet below were two curving parallel lines, one a rift and one a line of hills, extending across the undulating sandsheet. Although I can’t be sure, they were in the right place to have been the twin faults that run through northern Botswana and Zimbabwe. The arch of the journey ended abruptly when I entered the lobby of the hotel in Johannesburg. As soon as I walked in the door, the manager appeared with a sheaf of documents in hand. She quickly identified me and asked, “Were the crates you shipped to us fragile?” Evidently, the Fed Ex crew, who delivered the crates of panels I use for painting, dropped one dramatically on the lobby floor. “If there is damage”, the manager reassured me, “I have witnesses”.

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