Many times after an especially memorable flight I’ve stepped from the sailplane with a peculiar sensation of being two feet tall, as if the vastness I’ve alighted from has dwarfed my own physical and mental dimensions. Just think, moments after navigating the near heavens I can wallow in grass like a happy puppy. Far from belittling, it’s a glimpse of cosmic singularity, the central truth of ALL: paradox.
I have long seen the living of life, whether exalting or profane, an artistic endeavor, vowing as a child that my path would not replicate others’, but be original. Along the way I learned the evolutionary function of art is sacrament — or can be if we let it. After that nothing much matters, you live and die like everything else. It’s sacrament that keeps us human.
Key to the sacramental is finding what intrigues your curiosity or inspires you, and committing to that. Sacrament lies not in possessing any one thing or performing some arbitrary act. It comes with pouring yourself into mystery as water into a pool.
Yea, and sacrament can be solitary or social. Early in life, as an avid musician I was always glad to play alone, but loved playing with others more. Where going solo can be truly a sacrament, joining in harmony elevates the experience, arousing deeper satisfactions. A kind of psychic lovemaking you might say.
Then I discovered soaring and interest in music quickly faded. Why? I guess because hurtling bodily through the sky is just more visceral than hearing or making mere sounds, however brilliant they be. Soon soaring came to occupy these same creative spaces in mind and heart, but with fuller actualization.
Soaring creates non-virtual realities the ground-bound can scarcely conceive. Rather than stand beneath the day as before a concert stage, we actually plunge up into it, splash all around and guzzle, not sip its glories. We may climb a mountain, zoom to its neighbor, frolic there and return before city folks can find their way out of town!
And again, soaring together only amplifies the joy. Once floating in air became my sacrament and sharing it a higher one, I saw no choice but to run the clock out showing fellow earthlings they too can learn to levitate. And that is how I got this way.
THAT SAID… Some soaring pilots think if they don’t put up dazzling numbers their flight and the time invested are a pointless waste. That may be true, but only if they make it so. Could candy store weather and ideal terrain be dulling their appreciation of subtle wonders equally present in ‘ordinary’ places and times?
For me it’s all magic. A flight (or another day cooped up inside) need not be illustrious to be worthwhile, nor conditions optimum to be splendid. For thousands of years the truly wise have taught us that each point on every continuum is itself complete and perfect. As such, even the most commonplace moments (in the air or on the ground) can be lived as days in Heaven. Yes, a sacrament!
When asked for suggestions of internet goodies to keep readers’ chins up, my first thought was why me, the village luddite? Pretty much everybody’s hipper than I am, it’s you should be giving me ideas! So since you’ve already seen slicker stuff in cyberspace than I may ever get around to, here’s my challenge: find the sacrament in these fuzzy copies dubbed from an obscure video published during the thankfully short epoch of VHS. Step far enough back to tighten the resolution and imagine actually how they moved the camera through these scenes!
EAGLE’S PATH https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7G0-oJ64kV8