Quotes to Live By

Flying

"Flying is the art of throwing oneself at the ground and learning to miss."

--Samuel Dougless, The Ultimate Hitchhickers Guide to the Galaxy.

When you hit rock bottom after falling off a cliff, you never really want to get back up, rescale the cliff, and prepare to throw yourself off once again. In fact, it's even harder to understand why you keep getting up and climbing back up that same cliff knowing that you are going to fall again sooner or later. Your feet grow weary, the rope is long since broken, and you think that your feet are going to fall off your legs because you keep using them to rescale that stupid cliff. Your back is aching from the fall, and all you can think of is how nice it would be to fall that final time and just land on your head.

And yet, you continue to climb that cliff, over and over, careful not to land on your head as you fall so you can keep getting back up and rescaling it. Then you wonder why. Why do it over and over again?

That's when you look up and see the other people, the ones that have gone the same path before you, floating high above the clouds, laughing and dancing in the beautiful blue sky. They seem so light, so free, so happy. They seem to be everything you want to be. Everything you strive to be. They are the reason you keep climbing that cliff. You keep climbing that cliff so you can throw yourself off again and hope, each time, that you will fall to the ground--and miss. You hope to miss the hard ground and fly into the sky to join the happy people that dance up there now, eyes bright and faces holding nothing but smiles.

When things happen that make people look at their lives and wonder what they've been doing, where they wanted to be headed, most of them look up to the sky, hoping that things will someday get better and that the sky holds that promise. Or that the God that lives beyond them will see you looking up imploringly and answer your questions.

Throughout life, it is important to remember that anything can make you fall, but you must also have a reason to get back up. You must have a reason to climb that cliff and throw yourself off so that you can, once again, try to miss the ground and begin to fly. Everyone has that something, but not everyone is sure what it is. To some, it is a dear friend, to others a special someone, and sometimes it is money or some other material possession.

Everyone has something, and everyone knows, inherently, what it is. Sometimes it is not conscience, but hidden within the heart so deeply that years may pass beforeone even gets the slightest hint of it's existance. Yet there is sits, waiting to be found, ever lighting the candle we call hope to try and get you back on your feet, calling to you to reclimb that cliff and fall again, over and over, even when you think you can not pick up the pieces one more time.

It is the glue that holds you together, trying to keep you from breaking, trying to prevent you from giving up. It is something that lives within you, so intense that it becomes an obsession, a passion. It becomes everything even as it becomes nothing, so ingrained in your soul that you may not even realize it exists even as you hold it and protect it from harm.

For a moment close your eyes and rest on a small ledge that is about halfway up the side of the cliff. Relax for just a minute and soak in the lovely sun that you never bothered to notice and the peaceful laughter of the people above you. Breath deeply, slowly, and calmly and try to empty your mind. Then ask yourself, "What am I climbing for?"

The answer should appear in your mind. It will be small at first, but don't try to grab on to it. Just sit there and allow it to come to you. Beckon it gently closer, calling it out softly until you can see it in all of its glory. Then take the broken rope, tie that image to your heart, and hold it near.

Then begin to tread the same path that you have been scaling for years, pressing your weary feet into the same crevices and cracks that have been worn over time, and continue upwards knowing that, sometime soon, you will fly free as those before you, holding that image near to your heart.

Just know that every time you fall off that cliff, there is a chance, no matter how slight, that you may finally learn to miss the ground.