Airport Terminals and Transitions

I’m hanging out in the Las Vegas airport, with a lengthening layover, one of those times when you’re not sure when or if you’ll get out of town.

Trying to take advantage of the unexpected time here, I’m curious as to what it’s like. I’ve never been. If the airport provides hints (which it may or may not), I’d say “dirty” and “noisy” might be apt descriptors.

I started out in Portland, Oregon, which was clean, quiet, and had interesting shops and restaurants. I enjoyed the airport so much that I wanted to stick around. I had my choice of several healthy meals to take on board my flight. I bought greeting cards. I shopped for a new backpack. I bought a book and a cool turquoise journal that said, “Start where you are,” which seemed just about right for a transition time in my life.

The juxtaposition of these two airports has me thinking about how we wait out the transition times or liminal spaces of our lives. We can find such times restful, with the array of options intriguing and enticing, simply settling in and making the best of something that — let’s face it — we really can’t change anyway. Or we can find the down time annoying, full of sounds, sights and stimuli that agitate, and we can spend our time barking at people who, for the most part, can’t do much about our wait.

Since none of us choose to wait (do we?), we can assume that anyone waiting wishes they weren’t. Isn’t that right? Therein lies the problem with waiting times and transition points… they really can’t be rushed or skipped.

But we can play slots, shop a bit, visit the “Tequileria,” catch up with emails, meet new people, and read our books — and move on when permitted to. Or we can pitch a fit.

Either way, we are where we are — between things, waiting it out. Whether in Portland or Vegas or somewhere in between.

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