three perfect days


After spending hours stuck in traffic, arriving to a foggy 56-degree San Francisco weather, and then driving around trying to find parking, all I could think of right now is this poem.

Three Perfect Days

In the middle seat of an airplane,
between an overweight woman
whose arm takes over the armrest
and a man immersed in his computer game,

I am reading the inflight magazine
about three perfect days somewhere: Kyoto
this time, but it could be anywhere—
Madagascar or one of the Virgin Islands.

There is always the perfect hotel
where at breakfast the waiter smiles
as he serves an egg as perfectly coddled
as a Spanish Infanta.

There are walks over perfect bridges—their spans
defying physics—and visits to zoos
where rain is forbidden,
and no small child is ever bored or crying.

I would settle now for just one perfect day
anywhere at all, a day without
mosquitoes, or traffic, or newspapers
with their headlines.

A day without any kind of turbulence—
certainly not this kind, as the pilot tells us
to fasten our seatbelts, and even
the flight attendants look nervous.

-- Linda Pastan, from Traveling Light

Like her, I'd settle for just one perfect day. Preferably in a beach somewhere across the Pacific, swinging on a hammock, and listening to the waves as they roll in.

It sounds very much like I'm describing my islands, yes. I miss it so. Most days I wear this sunscreen because the scent of coconut oil and vanilla reminds me of home. Or I'd listen to Debussy's Arabesque No.1, so beautiful, it always makes me feel like I am back floating in a turquoise sea.

How about you, where would you spend your three perfect days?

Photo taken by me. More images here.


  1. Do you know, at the moment, I would take the opposite of this. I'd go to New York City and immerse myself in the chaos. Life has been a little stale around these parts lately so for a perfect day - or three - I'd like to shake things up a bit.

    Thanks for your comment, Odessa. We'll be alright.

    1. Oh yes, I hear you about shaking things up a bit. That's what I'm yearning too. And good to hear from you as always, Annelise. :)

  2. Dear Odessa, I just stumbled onto your blog, and oh my goodness...this post made me fall completely in love with it. That is such a perfect poem by Pastan - thank you so much for sharing it.
    I think my perfect place would actually be New York City, like Annelise, though I don't feel the city is chaotic at all. You know how in a coffee shop, you can be surrounded by people, and yet feel completely alone? That is actually how I see New York, and that is why I love it. It's wonderful how I can just walk through the city and perhaps bump arms with strangers or friends, and yet, still be able to be at peace and alone with my thoughts. It's wonderful. I'd love to spend 3 perfect days there.
    ♥ xixia |

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Xiaxia. And yes, I know what you mean about New York. I love how you can be a part of the city, of "it all", and still be solitary at the same time.