Right now, you are flying. Right now, your job is to hold your breath. — from The Writer’s Life by Annie Dillard
I’ve never had dreams of flying. I don’t have the gift of those exhilarating nights where I soar over treetops and streets below. In fact, the closest I come to flying dreams are the ones where I fall off a cliff . . .
But awake, sometimes I feel like I’m gliding on air. I see myself high above red-clay desserts with mesa and canyons strong below me, and I just put out my arms and soar on the thermals, letting the currents take me where they will.
Today, this feeling lifts me by my shoulder blades as I realize I’m in the middle of the life I have always wanted. Words fill my day. I spend most hours writing and reading. I talk about writing with people all the time. I stare out the window and consider what words are closest to the tip of my tongue and which ones are clawing their way out of my heart. I hear Joan Didion’s words through my car stereo, and I read Kathleen Norris’s again and again. I am gliding the thermals of language, and this is bliss and rest and play, all in one.
Most days when I drive the 2.5 mile driveway, a red-tailed hawk swoops past my windshield as he crosses from woods to woods. I see him slide down the air, rust-colored warm honey from a spoon, and I hold my breath. I don’t know what he’ll find on his journey between trees, and I don’t know what waits at the end of my flight of words.
Yet, here I am flying as the words carry me onward. This is all I need to do, and it is freedom.
“Sunset Cliff” Image Copyright Â© Julie Magers Soulen (Ms. Soulens’ work is amazing. Her pieces in her shop are absolutely stunning.)