Last night our man dreamed he could fly. He’s walking down the street and just like in real life, it occurs to him he should act like a bee and buzz off.
He clenches his fists and grits his teeth really hard — like the guy in the Monty Python beard growing contest — and he just gives it all he’s got. Suddenly he lifts off the ground and he’s flying over the city like a blimp without the gas and it is so cool.
He doesn’t like to admit it, but in his waking life — aka, reality — he has tried once or twice to fly just like in the dream. Not only does it not work, it scares people who see him standing there as tight as a juicy knot, calling up his inner Hulk and ready to dead-lift a dumb bell if some dumb bell happens by.
In the dream, he feels that the clenching of fists, the tightening up, the gritting of teeth is the most logical way to get flying. That it doesn’t work in the un-dream state is puzzling, because if the logical isn’t the way to get airborne, then the only way we can ever hope to fly is to do something along the illogical spectrum.
Like building a 175-ton steel contraption that has wings but also bathrooms and TV screens and tiny, impossible-to-open bags of peanuts and mean looking guards who make you take off your shoes to make sure you’re not hiding feets in them, and naturally, a bin to store your banjo. And it all comes with the ridiculous expectation of lifting off the ground and getting you to Minneapolis before lunch.
If people really could fly, our man is thinking, we’d see them zipping here and there above us. And while it would all seem perfectly normal, he’s pretty sure he’d still have a little anxiety about whether or not all of those people up there paid a visit to the little room where you wash your hands and admire the plumage before taking off. He knows the type of person who wouldn’t have thought of that until airborne. At least pigeons have an excuse for the aerial unburdening of their inner selves: they have the brains of a pigeon.
So we’d certainly need some new laws, and probably flying cops who will pull you over and say “Do you know how fast you were going? Man, you were flying back there.”
Having self-analyzed his flying dreams, our man sees them as a kind of memo-to-self: rise above the festering blarbosity around you, escape the shuffling, moaning zombieness of being, get creative and undo that juicy knot.
Like our man, many of us tighten up before flying. Someone once told him that “flying is all about letting go.” Or maybe it was “letting go is like flying without a parachute or a steel contraption.” Maybe both.
The way he sees it, personal flying is about believing in a kid he used to know, the one with his father’s slick pompadour and all those green army men set up under the dining room table. That kid knows how to fly. Did it all during kidhood.
Sometimes it’s raining hard and the steel-wooly skies are doing their self-cleaning oven thing. Those are the times in waking life when everything is grounded – and yet blarbosity festers on in any weather. Which is why the onset of darkness may be the best time for the dreamy flight of a humble-bee.
But don’t discount the daytime. The onset of lightness fills the brain with helium, as long as you raise the shades and throw back the curtains. When you do, in the words of songwriter Jimmy Webb, you will go “up, up and away in your beautiful balloon.”
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2014, all rights reserved.