Love, Actually

One of my hobbies is hanging out at the arrivals terminal of international airports.  I haven’t actually driven out to Dulles just for this yet, but I have a plan to go and interview people and write the stories of reunions and tears, of running from customs to open arms.

Do you remember the end of the movie Love Actually (it’s scene 20 if you have the DVD)?  An endless multiplicity of joyful reunions.  Try not to cry.

I do have experience hanging out in “Arrivals,” having been there on official business (family-member-retrieval) each time so far. Not much happens between limousine drivers and their charges beyond the head nod and luggage hand-off.  But for anyone else who bothers to go wait interminably in the terminal, they are looking forward to “the moment.”  And let me tell you… most of the reunions are SWEET.

I once structured a whole talk — about our (humans’) longing for God’s intimate knowledge of us and tender care of us — around a Dulles reunion I witnessed.  Two (I’d guess) cousins or sisters were reuniting after a long time (again, I’m guessing)… and they vacillated between mutually-adoring, eye-contact gazes at arms-length and death-grip hugs, for about five minutes.  I couldn’t look away.  And yet it was too beautiful to watch directly.  Like staring into the sun.

It set a standard for me for the sorts of relationships I wanted to work towards developing, of the sort of person I wanted to aim for being — someone who would delight in the other that way and, frankly, someone who would be the object of such delight too.

I think that a few hours a year spent contemplating what goes on in relationships that produce the moments of ecstatic reunion would lead to good relationship choices.  What sorts of daily acts, words shared, griefs born, sacrifices made lead to these reunions, unabashed and uninhibited, ecstatic and satisfying?  I want to get to the end of my life and have a few close ones with whom I have no regrets, no tearful “woulda-coulda-shoulda.”  That would be a life well lived.

That’s why I’m heading out to the airport soon to interview people.  There are mysteries of the universe floating around in that international arrivals terminal, mine for the taking.

~ by Cary on January 8, 2010.

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