F Is for Flight

5 years ago

Ever since someone suggested that “angels can fly because they take themselves lightly”—I’ve considered the metaphor of Flight one of my favorite one-word “lifts” (pun intended).

Examples of the pleasantness and implied liberation of the word Flight abound.

We recently re-watched our DVD of “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” with its stunning soundtrack, and always, afterwards, it is the Gospel hymn “I’ll Fly Away” that most compellingly sticks in my mind.

Poet James Dickey said that “Flight is the only truly new sensation” anyone has achieved in modern history.

Flight is possibility waiting to happen.

I love this quote from Faith Ringgold’s young adult writings that “Anyone can fly. All you need is somewhere to go that you can’t get to any other way.”

And spiritual writer Sam Keen’s observation: “What I call the aerial instinct—the drive to transcend our present condition—is the defining characteristic of a human being.”

Flight can mean different things to different seekers.

Levitation, a localized version of Flight, is the goal of some yogis. I’ve heard they’ve even been filmed doing it.

The Old Testament Psalmist (in the wonderful Psalm 139) wrote: “ ... If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me.”

I love that the poet/Psalmist makes the leap to suggest that the morning HAS wings! This wonderful phrase evokes the freedom of Flight that birds (and angels) own—and that our spirits tap into on fresh spring mornings when there seems no barrier or limit to reaching whatever it is we’re seeking.

“Come fly with me ... ” embodies an irresistible temptation.

I love the assumption that there is something better to experience and that by aerial motion we can “get” there.

According to Cesar Pelli, “The desire to reach for the sky runs deep in our human psyche.”

What constitutes Flight to you? Do you experience it alone or more often with your beloved?

Writing about spiritual topics, I can’t imagine doing without the metaphor of Flight.

But it would be far worse never to have experiences that so lift us up—that only the word Flight comes close to describing them.

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