Prose by Wayne Visser
~ Flight is the journey beyond our limitations ~What does flight mean to you? Are you afraid of flying, or are you exhilarated by idea of escaping gravity? Are you captivated by flights of fantasy, or terrorised by flights into danger? For centuries, we dreamed of flying, marvelling at the freedom of birds and longing to touch the clouds. Since ancient times, we were lured by the magic of flight, yet wary of its strange secrets. Always it was the gods and goddesses who possessed the power of flight, while we humans remained earthbound. The legend of Icarus echoed down the passages of time to warn us of the fate of those who dared to fly. And yet, today, we live in an age of flight. We have taken to the skies and ridden with the wind. We have conquered our fears and opened the aperture of space. Flight is an act of faith. When we lift off from the ground, we put our trust in forces we scarcely comprehend. Somehow, we know that we are entering the realm of the gods, defying the limitations of our humanness and embracing the possibilities of our divinity. When we see the earth from above, it is different from the world we know. It is larger, yet strangely smaller; more dislocated, yet somehow more connected. Flight gives us the gift of perspective, of seeing a bigger whole, when we thought the parts were all there was. Flight gives us the experience of transformation, of existing in a different state of being, soaring like a bird when our feet should be firmly on the ground. Every time we overcome barriers and transcend thresholds, we are flying. Every time we dare to dream and believe in the impossible, we are flying. Every time we let our imagination float and our creativity glide, we are flying. We fear flying because it takes us out of our comfort zone, beyond the certainty of what we know. Flight challenges the gravity of our rationality, questions the integrity of our senses, muddles the neat structure of our moribund beliefs. It takes courage to learn to fly – courage enough to see the world differently, even when we are ridiculed; courage enough to pick ourselves up and try again, even after we crash and burn; courage enough to hold steadfast to our vision, even when we are passing through clouds of uncertainty; courage enough to keep believing, even when we are buffeted by storms of doubt. In our wakefulness, which is a kind of slumber, we are terrestrial creatures, destined to walk the earth. Yet in our sleep, which is a kind of awakening, we are aerial beings, free to traverse the skies. Therefore, flying in our waking lives seems difficult, while flying in our dreams is easy; flying during the day seems miraculous, while flying at night is natural. Flying is a skill we can learn to master, but first we need sky – we need to create the space in our lives, the boundless horizons of our crazy wishes and audacious dreams, the vaulted heavens of our bold faith and tenacious belief. Then we need wings – the elegant mechanisms which give us lift, like nature and science, and the aesthetic designs which give us levity, like art and poetry. And finally, it helps to have the wind beneath our wings – the people who help us to rise up above the clouds of everyday trials and tribulations, those who see our amazing potential and never lose faith in our incredible abilities. Flight is a dance of collaboration, between nature and engineering; a song of harmony, between will and intuition; a stanza of rhythm, between ourselves and those who believe that we can fly. Like Disney’s Dumbo, flight defies the odds, scorns the probabilities. And the magic feather we cling to is the optimism that lifts us above the morass of life’s pessimism, the hope that dispels the shadow of life’s despair, the faith that affirms the vitality of life’s soul. Flight is fuelled by desire, powered by vision, and navigated by the heavens. If you want to fly, you need to look up from the ground and see the sky. If you want to jet off to other worlds, you need to set a course for the stars. Where will your destination be? Welcome on board the wings of your dreams. We trust you will have a pleasant flight.
Wayne Visser © 2005
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