There is something alluring about flying through the air. Not in an airplane or aboard a hot air ballon. But propelled by our own muscles, and skill. Hurling, twisting, turning. Feeling free. Momentarily defying gravity.
But inevitably we return to earth, to the floor, the mat. Whatever. Just back down to zero.
This desire for freedom’s flight is not just physical. Indeed, among the people formerly known as negroes there is a deep desire to fly. Fly away. Be flying home.
A centuries old longing for a state not actually remembered, sometimes only mustard seed in size, but there nonetheless. Amidst all the troubles of the world, we still dream of flying.
Which is why talented and multi-awarded gymnast Simone Biles testifying about her personal predicament is so very, very important. Vital for sanity’s sake. In an intimate and terrible sense, none of us can be whole until we are able to reveal our scars, our wounds, our hurts, our losses. None of us.
No matter how high, how far we have flown, all of us, at one time or another, each and everyone one of us has fallen. For some it was just a slip, for others, we crashed. None of us escapes life’s pains–even those who only walk, maybe skip, occasionally hop, but have never, ever exulted in the ether of flying.
The horrible truth is that whatever our courage, whatever our cowardice, regardless, we know we can fall; we all, at one level or another, each of us has our own fear of flying. Why? Because, even for those of us who have only dreamed of flying, we all know that ultimately we are earth bound. By nature, we are all members of the fallen.
However, the true terribleness of the fall is that far, far too many of us did not stumble, nor slip, make a mis-step, nor aspire to go where our center could not hold. The terrible truth is that too often we were pushed. And the pushing most often came from those who were close enough to reach out and touch us.
Listen to Simone. You are not alone. All of us, at one time or another, or another, or on and on, we all have suffered. But let not our failures define us. As sure as we walk, flat-footed on the ground. We need not stay grounded. Even if only in our imaginations, we all can fly.
We all should fly. Dream. Believe. Do it. No matter how briefly. Do it.