Flying Lessons

Flight Lesson – 17

Like an anchor escapement in a clock, my wings pendulum swing rhythmically.  Advancing us across invisible lines of space and time, one small push each swing, a driving force paces me.  Latitude lines lay parallel beneath my feet.  Longcase pairs, my biplanes’ wings align with linear meridians.  Both mutually marking time in degrees, perfectly. Silently. […]

Flight Lesson – 16

There is a Bird Walk off Taliesin East that floats in the sky over the Wisconsin River Valley like a cantilevered wing.  A concrete main spar makes its way above the trees of Spring Green.  Built for the third wife of Frank Lloyd Wright at her request.  She asked simply, “Please Frank, let me walk […]

Flight Lesson – 15

The skies spun all around us as soft and warm as cotton candy on our last flight in Wisconsin. The sweet smell of burnt sugar floated back to me in my memory. The first time I smelled it was in another September, once upon a time ago.  I wrote a piece of make-believe about a […]

Flight Lesson – 14

Holding my breath on the ground, I exhale in the air.  My shoulders relax as I sigh a sigh of relief. Climbing open-cockpit with my plane feels like bare skin on cool sheets. Air pressure decreasing with each foot of altitude we increase. I pull up the covers of just washed clouds and drink in their freshwater […]

Flight Lesson – 13

I dreamt of St. Exupery’s fish-shaped submarine Thursday night, and woke to swallows singing across the grass runways in the morning light. Looking through the looking-glass of our patron’s apartment. French doors overlook the runways to the south, and a wall of windows overlook my plane in the hangar to the north. My attention turned […]

Flight Lesson – 12

The river writes a song of us.  Composes a melody, one fifth lower, flowing underneath our wings.  Noting territory, cutting continents into separate clefs. The river’s serpentine rhythm rolls across the ground like a grand staff.  Playing pilots, boaters, and navigators simultaneously; all musicians in an explorer’s symphony.  Bracketing lines of adventurer’s together. The synchronicity […]

Flight Lesson – 11

Once upon a time I flew with a snow goose.  When I was a little girl the snow goose would smooth the knots in my wild wings each night, and called me her Butterfly. I flitted and fluttered from thing to thing, switching crayons constantly, coloring outside the lines of life.  The snow goose didn’t […]

Flight Lesson – 10

Why do I always want to fly when it rains? The corn is waving, the wheat is calling.  Bending, bowing, beckoning me. I want to fly away and the rain is everywhere.  Let me run, wide open.  Let me run across the fields, around the lake.   Let me burn hours off this rain soaked […]

Flight Lesson – 9

Grass is a gift.  A compliment most unexpected and undeserved. When it is given to you, you glow; making your skin flush and your face blush. Praise so gentle and kind, offered with such grace, you glide into being what you always wanted to become when you glide across grass.  A pilot’s imperfections softened, absorbed […]

Flight Lesson – 8

Takeoffs are tied to the ground, your communion with the sky begins when you break free in the climb.  Somewhere just above the earth, in the ephemeral place below 500 feet, you climb into an unknowing unlike any you’ve ever known. The climb is where fear and fearlessness fight each other for you. Too low […]