The flight of deep sleep: the conflict of the placelessness

by Abdullah Alturki

The term sense of place has been defined and used in many different ways by many different people. To some, it is a feeling or perception held by people (not by the place itself). It is often used in relation to those characteristics that make a place special or unique, as well as to those that foster a sense of authentic human attachment and belonging.

As well, the sense of place is often associated and considered reciprocally influential with emotions, and that influence would be the driving force behind our actions in order to adapt our feelings toward this place.

This adaptation might not be easy, even more if you considered the place as a placeless spot, which have no special relationship to the place in which it is located—it could be anywhere. Roadside strip shopping mall, gas/petrol station and even plane in the air!

What is hard to know, that you have to go through it, and go through it alone. But on the flip side it is good to know that there is so much support out there. As my father would try and encourage me with reciting the story Going on a Bear Hunt, “you can’t go over it, you can’t go under it, you have to go through it”.

That happened when I was in the flight SV37 from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia heading to Washington D.C, United States. It was the first back after vacation to me as a graduate student at the United States. I started my journey by going early to King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh. The airport was too crowdie, and I was wondering how all these people were feeling about leaving, and how they think about the value of the place. However, I ignored my thoughts, and I stayed focused until I finished my traveling procedures, then I went to the waiting lounge.

Shortly after, it was the boarding time, and I had been seated in the seat #37B beside the aisle on the left side of the plane. As usual, passengers were busy searching for their seats and preparing them to be comfortable for the trip. Later, it was the time to start our journey, the journey of the conflict between the placelessness and emotions, between our reactions to the surrounding environment and what is actually going on.

The place was cold. Not in the temperature, but in the lack of warmness. I was looking around trying to identify how the others feel. A young girl was crying, and I assumed that she would do that in order to change her mood and feel better. Another person was introducing himself to his neighbor, and I think that it was to make sure that he would not need to change his seat later. Everybody was doing the adaptation process and there was a kind of diversity. Not in the humans, but in the way they choose to fulfill their needs. 

The exception was in the way that my neighbor used to achieve the mission. It was through sleeping. Yes, sleeping for more than the average rate that everybody sleeps! And simply all problems solved. That is the corner-stone of my idea, so it is not about doing more with less, but rather it is about using the abundance that you already have.

 “When you are in deep conflict about something, sometimes the most trivial thing can tip the scales.”

Ethel Merman

That is it! Face your conflicts, no matter how trivial your actions would be or not. Believe in yourself and let it do what it thinks best. It won’t go wrong as long as it is yours.

That is all!

Abdullah Alturki (@aialturki)

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