When I was a kid I often dreamt of flying. The dreams tapered off over time—the last one was at least fifteen years ago and it was probably the most spectacular of all. Even now I can almost feel the exultation of swooping and soaring. For something that took place in the mind, the sheer physicality of the experience was amazing. It was body.
I’ve never been afraid of airplanes; when I was a kid, I enjoyed flying—especially take-offs and landings, because the rest is mostly coasting along (except, of course, when weather determines otherwise). When I was around thirty, I read Richard Bach’s book, Illusions. His love of flying is contagious. I was still infected when I met my husband, and he bought me a calendar of women in flight, with lots of (well, about twelve) historic photos. I must still have it . . . somewhere.
This video, posted by Jan on her blog, reminds me of my dreams:
(I love the music—I wish I knew what it was—if you do, tell me!)
Looking at the photo of the Wright glider (1902!) and the video, I marvel at how these very mortal human bodies sometimes do amazing things. Flying! Flying with bodies unarmored, exposed to weather, to injury, to the real possibility of death. Oh, to do something awesome, in spite of fear—how I wish I could, but alas, I am too protective of this one body.
When I first came to Christianity, I found an art print of a woman flying; it was titled Coming Home. The image sparked me to realize that that was exactly how I felt: I was coming home, and I wasn’t just walking, I was flying.
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Do you, or did you, have flying dreams? How can we—land-bound without the help of some apparatus or other—dream of flying so gloriously? I wish I’d have another. . . I don’t have the nerve to try a windsuit.