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tuesday 23 june

‘Delayed Departure Depression’ it may not be an official syndrome, but it’s oh so real. Today I have it. Delta flight #DL623 bound for Tokyo and on to Singapore, and I’m not on it.

It began late last night, sleep didn’t eliminate it. I woke this morning and lingered under the covers on a morning I should have bounded out, awake early with anticipation, checking last minute packing, and making certain I had my Starbucks reusable cup for the twenty-hours of travel ahead. Instead, I muddled around in a slight “okay, what do I do next funk”. And that is definitely not my style.

Funny how your own words come back to haunt you. I have a saying, one I have told many an assistant, friend, audience, and my wife, I never get excited about being there until the plane lands. I hold to that thought. Too many things can and do go awry. This past weekend the pendulum swung fully — from packing and eventually climbing on flight 623, to standing silently over a scattered pile of equipment, semi-jammed into my Rotation 180 pack, with a cuppa Earl Grey tea in my hand and no urgency to drink it.

I remember flying with a friend from Costa Rice once and on approach the stall warning signal on the little plane began to shout, we were slipping uncomfortably close to the tropical treetops ahead of the tiny coast strip. He eventually pulled up and we banked violently out over the Pacific before making a second pass sans warning signal and landed. After our errand was finished, we taxi’d to the end of the strip for take off and there we sat, the Censna’s engine purring away,  the runway stretching west before ending in trees. Without looking at me he said, ‘do you mind if I just sit a minute before  I enjoy flying again?’  Pausing can bring clarity of purpose.

“before I enjoy flying again” plays on a loop in my head. I know eventually I’ll walk one room over, into my office, fire up the trio of computers and begin the patchwork process of rescheduling for Indonesia, but for now, I stare and sip my tea, afflicted with DDD. 


2015-2016 Global research and reporting on great apes made possible in part through the generous financial support of the Philadelphia Zoo

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