My Grubby Halo

There’s no sensation to compare with this. Suspended animation, a state of bliss.

It’s hard for me to find the right words when it comes to describing how I feel at 36,000 feet — or at most altitudes, really — but Pink Floyd’s “Learning to Fly” is a good start.

It has a few lines that sum things up perfectly.

Above the planet on a wing and a prayer.

I’m a nervous passenger up high, but I’m getting better. I think. They say practice makes perfect, but I think I’d worry if I ever became “perfect” at traveling. My guard would be down, and I don’t want that.

Tongue-tied and twisted — just an earthbound misfit, I.

The song is beautiful, yes, but also a confirmed metaphor for striking out on one’s own. It’s easy to look out and behold the beauty, but it’s even easier to realize how small we are in the grand scheme. How in the world are we supposed to make a difference? How in the world are we supposed to leave our mark? In our tiny corner of life, I suppose it’s not that hard. But how do we get our impact to go beyond our bubble? Thinking about it is mind-boggling, brain-numbing and it leaves me without words sometimes.

Condition grounded, but determined to try.

How can we not want to try? When you look around at the effect some people have on others, either personally, professionally, whether there’s an element of celebrity or not, things can look pretty bleak. Feels like the stuff that sells and that gets propagated is the negative, the crude, the stuff lacking any sort of conscience. I’m not claiming angel-status…Lord knows I’ve had more than enough “not-my-finest” moments. I might be a small voice in a big world, a quiet voice among the disheartening, but because of it all, I’m determined to keep trying.

Tonight I am thankful for an uneventful flight, for its pairing with my favorite Pink Floyd song, and for the perspective it always brings, regardless of altitude.

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