Some say that there are castles in the sky, built in dreams, held together by hope, lying in wait for their constructors to claim them and live in eternal joy. But they who say these things, they are the ones who dream beyond all achievement and hope beyond the death of optimism. They have never done any more than spout their glorious words and wait for their desires to come to them. They have never been so desperate as to chase their dreams, ride down their castles and take them by force. I have.

There came a day, long ago, when the idea of another hour with my feet on the hard, cold earth was more than I could take. My dreams had long ago faded as hope had crumbled and if there was a palace for me it was merely a long-abandoned ruin. But something in me, some part relegated in the distant past to a dusty corner, compelled me to chase after the mad idea that I did indeed still have my tiny kingdom in the heavens. So that day I flew. I had no idea what I was doing when I drove down to see the man that sat at the long drive's end with his two-seater plane, but shortly I was a great deal poorer, if that was possible, and on my way into the sky.

That day I searched with desperation for my caste. Never have I poured myself so wholly into anything as I did then. I never wanted to touch Earth again, its pathetic struggles and feeble establishments left behind if I could escape it. And so I looked. A whole day and half the night I drove the pilot on, finally to come to ground again when neither of us was lucid enough to understand our quest anymore, if ever we had been.

I have looked for my castle. I have seen the sky diminish to a ribbon of scarlet on a band of gold and away into blue-black nothing. I have seen castles in the sky, oh yes. They are just as insubstantial as my collapsed hopes and failed dreams. There are no blessed souls floating above this dark world's careworn surface. No, there is something far more beautiful and promising. Flying that day in the desperate cold, protected from my folly by a thin layer of Plexiglas, I felt my heart soar with my body and beyond, filled for the first time in longer than I cared to remember with lightness. I could feel, though the light that pierced the frigid air and the streaking of clouds around us, the gentle hand of God caressing me like a child. I understood, in an instant of clarity, a promise of an end more beautiful than a sky palace- a gift of perfect peace, restored drams, and everlasting hope.

So keep, if you wish, your insubstantial castles nestled in the clouds. I will cling to a better dream, one that I know will be fulfilled.

-6/18/04