Flight …

Haibun
There have been a couple of times when I have “taken flight” in a airplane. No, I am not speaking of travel something that David and I have enjoyed a good bit of until recently. I mentioned earlier taking the controls of a little dark red two-seater as we went in between the Green Mountains one morning with a friend when I was sixteen. There was a second time. It was 2005 in November. I had just been through the biggest spiritual experience of my life. It took six – eight weeks, it was exhilarating and exceptionally painful. It would leave me dazed and confused. And I knew full well that it looked like I was having a nervous breakdown. I sensibly engaged a bodyworker who worked with my energy and a exercise therapist. I did this to assist with keeping myself grounded. It was the hardest thing that I have ever been through. It changed my life and taught me a lot. However, I had no idea initially what it was that I was meant to do. What came to me was that at 60 years of age I was meant to learn to fly an airplane. This TERRIFIED me. I found an old grass airfield with wonderful old hangars from the 20s, and a little flying school. I learned to fly a 1947 Luscombe 8 Taildragger. I loved that little plane, I used to come over to the airfield and wash it … ha … lying on one of those things that mechanics lie on so I could get under the fuselage, in linen and pearls. I really loved it when I learned to take off and to land. I did not get a license, this is a wealthy man’s sport, no bones about it. Buying a plane is a very expensive operation. And the buying isn’t the expensive part, it is the insurance, the hangar space and the upkeep. What was actually taking place was that I was facing my ultimate fear of heights and my growing fear of flying. Even if one flies a good bit it is not unusual to acquire a fear of flying as one ages. I did exactly what I was meant to do at the time.

persepolis far away in persia – quick flight

Posted with gratitude at The Poetry Pantry #158.

23 thoughts on “Flight …

    • Kerry, I always thought that haibun was a paragraph of prose followed by a haiku. However, reading Basho’s trip to the north has shown me that one might write several paragraphs of prose followed by a haiku.

  1. Wow, I am impressed that you faced your fear by learning to fly a plane. There was a period of several years when I feared flying as well. It developed after a particularly turbulent flight into Detroit RIGHT after the time of a tragic air disaster there. And on the plane I was on I noticed the flight attendants’ fear; and when I asked them about this as we landed (finally) they said it was for them just too close to the recent disaster in which they had lost some of their fellow flight attendants. After I returned home, it was a long time (10 – 12 years) before I even considered flying. It was due to a very special person that I finally ‘risked’ flying again, and a whole world then opened to me. Without whom I would not have seen so much of the world I have now seen. I wouldn’t have gone so far as to learn to fly though. How cool that you learned on a 1947 plane!! A very interesting share, Liz.

    • Yup! Ater a particularly turbulent flight (over La Guardia) and then 911. Mary, I have had two spiritual experiences in my lifetime. Each shook up my world and I became a different person. I was truly discombobulated after this experience. I was trying so very hard to do “what I was meant to do” and it was so hard figuring it out.

      It was cool and very frightening. But I will say this when I fly today or the last few years, I sort of know what is taking place in the cockpit and there just no longer is any fear. I am so glad that you got back into a plane and that you were able to travel.

  2. wow. can only imagine…i have been flown but never had my hands on the yoke and known it was dependant on my ability…what an experience that must have been…i have always dreamed of flying, more like a bird, but this might be as close as i get…mmm…you did what you were meant to do…that answer much for me there…smiles…i believe int hat…

  3. You are brave , kiddo, and I can well imagine the exhilaration of flying oneself through the skies…………I love your haibun stories…….

    • Haibun … a paragraph or more of prose followed by a haiku. I use that haiku to do 3 things: inject verse into the equation, tie up the prose and to accentuate the prose. Thank you Audrey.

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