From the torn of pieces of paper that list the conditions, we fashion the bird that is our life. It is easy to dismiss this opportunity as refuse. The second mistake lets anxiety tear the listed conditions into small more bite size pieces. It is the mirage of adolescence that tells us that those conditions are too strong, too big, overwhelming and intractable. We only tentatively dare to wake to our need using a smaller screen of influence. For the influence we wish to extend is always greeted by a rogue backwash of forces that are opposite, but not equal. They have been waiting for us for a long time.
Part of those forces greet us as the original, the one who has been awaited; we are the Christ of our family lineage. Every dead soul has wished to be the One, but now, we the living, represent them. And, listening carefully, they are a chorus. We are hoping they are cheerleaders. But we all know the story; Christ was greeted first with prostrations, and in the end with crucifixion. One that we wash our hands of. It is an old story, the same story, a true story. It is a devastating requiem to the reach of idealistic voices that no one escapes the Saturnine weight of imposed generational obligations unless they first escape their messianic complex. Yes, tip your hat to Jesus’ sacrificial gestures, but don’t try to imitate them.
To do that of course, breaks all the religions, and seems like a breach of contract, because it is. We must break the conditions of the pact created and maintained by the past, because we can’t live in that past without creating suffocation. It’s too small; it doesn’t contain the kind of oxygen we need. We need the kind of breath that creates lift.
This bird must fly. Elsewise, we become just more unconscious offal to feed the soil of future generations. We can flower, or simply become more compost. The unease will not depart, though. Falling short of flight, we will feel plucked, a bird shivering purposeless without feathers to protect and empower our yearning muscles.
The secret of flight, in creating a bird from the piecemeal refuse of others, is to use a glue that will not contribute to the already overweening oppression of accumulated gravities. You may need to be a clever trader, a navigator, a pilot, a pirate, a warrior scholar, an alchemist, a researcher, a writer, a confidant, a counselor, a spy, an intermediary. These things do not arrive on their own, they must be sought out in places you otherwise would not go.
We look within to find the courage to embody all these roles. Some say all the cohesion you need can be sorted out from your dreams. Dreams are a useful but unwieldly tool. It is like looking into a mirror that only partially represents a reflection. It also, otherwise, represents improbable animals, animate plants, talking rocks, and volitional planets out of orbit, none of whom conform to any of our smaller desires. Once again, we are being asked to see a bigger view, one which the mirror can only hint at.
Hints are important and subtle. We must become very quiet before the determinative moments when we spring into action, we must find the balance between witness and hero. Again, as we preen through layers and levels, once more it becomes overwhelming, and too much. At some point we will reach a pinnacle that is also a precipice. It will be easy to jump into oblivion before the feathers are fully formed, and the glue is dry. Neither jump from, nor linger too long in, places that seem to have the best view.
Here, the torturous disciplines of the wisdom traditions come into play. Everyone has their own cross to bear. It is best to see that suffering as yet another tool of the feather, rather than an objective. Here, patience, and the willingness to give up all that has once again become too small is paramount. Even the fantastics of the mirror and its offspring, the imaginations, must be allowed to expire in order for something else to emerge.
What emerges cannot be spoken of. We transmit its meaning only by presence. That presence is appreciated by those who are themselves shredding contracts with the ruined cities in the desert. We long for ruins to be landmarks. In fact they stand only as vague stone dissolving into sand. We gain the most by abandoning it all. We wander, sometimes together. We grow, often alone. We wait, both as audience and celebrant, for first flight.