(this was written on our first trip out to Seattle as the plane was descending to Minneapolis St. Paul airport)

I had an interesting realization on a plane as it was coming in for a landing.

I looked out the window as we cruised at something like 10000 feet. The scenery was flat. The only thing that added depth to the scene was the clouds sitting there providing the needed parallax as we moved by. The world below me was two dimensions.

The plane descended.

As we flew into Minneapolis St. Paul’s airport and went below a few thousand feet, the buildings started to gain form. The big buildings at least.

On approach, a leafless tree half a mile from the runway drifted by the window.

It struck me that the world is firmly three dimensions. The house beyond the tree was no longer painted onto a flat canvas. The house, with its tree were real things.

Of course this is to be expected.

The shock, to me at least, was the dramatic transformation as we slowly lost altitude.