The craziest thing happened today during my lunchtime flying lesson: when I stepped off the end of the gangplank and flapped my arms, I failed to gain altitude. In fact, for the first time since I started these lessons two years ago, I actually fell into a pile of garbage…hard. Just like that, can you believe it?
Immediately, my instructor and fellow students set out to help me discover just what had gone wrong. Usually, I rose straight up in the air when I jumped and flapped like that, where I proceeded to swoop and soar like a bird or a plane. In fact, I’d been tops in my class for six weeks straight! So what went wrong today?
Was it my flapping technique? Absolutely not, concluded the class. Each stroke of my wings had been dead on. Was it my jumping style? Again, no one could quite accept that as the cause. So what about my kazoo playing? According to one and all, that too had been most excellent. And the propeller on my bright yellow beanie hat had been spinning at just the right pitch for conditions.
By all rights, I should have taken off as always. That left just one other possibility: a crisis of faith. Yes, that would do it. Put simply, the sky had not believed strongly enough that it could lift me up…and the ground had believed too strongly that it could hold me down no matter what.
The only solution, as always, was to reconcile the two. To make them believe what I needed them to believe. To that end, my instructor, classmates, and I set about making extensive conversation…extensive and loud, for the benefit of the sky and ground…in support of my viability as a flying candidate. Everyone tried their best to convince the sky and ground that I indeed could be uplifted effectively with no harm to either element. And that the rest of the class could follow.
Guess what? Sure enough, the next time I stepped off the gangplank and flapped my arms in their feathery sheaths, propellor hat spinning and kazoo playing madly, I rose right up. I drifted like a feather into the blue yonder, gliding on currents of air warmed by the Indian Summer sun. Sailing through the middle of a V-formation of Canada geese on their way south. Grinning like an idiot under my pink and blue facepaint. Overjoyed that I had overcome an obstacle and found once more the pure joy I sought each day at lunch. The joy that made my life worth living.
Because only from those great heights could I truly be like a bird. Only from way up there could I drop the great dollops of crap that would splatter on car windshields all across town, there to ooze and spread and bake on in the blazing heat of that glorious Indian Summer sun. Bombs away!
See you soon!