View from a Plane

First things first: I am petrified of flying. I get one and off planes through sheer force of will, possible only while wearing the right shoes (sneakers, in case I have to climb out after a disaster), distracted by the right activities (crossword puzzles– not too hard, not too easy), and wearing the correct clothing (a sweater, because terror makes me cold). I know the law says the window has to be open during take off and landing, but if I’m in the window seat, I close that things clandestinely immediately after the flight attendants strap in. The last thing I want to see is exactly how far the plane might fall if something goes wrong.

That said, once we’re in the air, I get (a little) more comfortable. At 30,000 feet, everything below looks like a beautiful, surreal painting, totally unlike anything you see from the ground. Field laid out in precise geometry, cloud mountains rise and fall, cities sparkle in the distance.

These fantastic and otherworldly landscapes are captured perfectly by painter Jim Darling in his airplane window series. The pieces are gorgeous abstractions, just hinting at the reality of the scenes you see out the airplane window– a silver wing here, a skyline there. Contrasted against the crisp white window frame, they’re magical and familiar all at the same time.

via Austin Kleon.


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