Thursday, 20 September 2012
Flying: Mind and Body
One of Proust's great themes is how the mind often knows much less than the body. When Albertine leaves, Marcel's physical reaction tells him immediately what he feels, after the mind had convinced itself of indifference. But, flying back from holiday, it struck me that the body often knows much less. On a plane, the mind knows you're 35,000 feet above ground, up in the air, buoyed and buffeted by high winds, too reliant on a mortal human being in the cockpit. The body thinks it's in a large room with a floor that's a bit wobbly but pretty secure, or it's snug inside a narrow building, or a kind of fairground ride that shakes around for a bit and when it stops you magically come out somewhere different.