Sunday, October 6, 2013

Up Up and Away

Last week I went paragliding. I've always had dreams of flying, swimming in the open air like a seal rather than a bird. Doing tricks and spinning round and moving my arms in big goofy strokes to get higher to the clouds or closer to the ground. While I was up there all I wanted was my instructor to shut up for a second with the small talk so I could just let my mind float away the same way my body seemed to be. Weightless. A part of the wind and so far away from the grid of life below my feet. I could have stayed up there forever.

When you're in your own world it becomes hard to see anything outside of what you're living. Sometimes you forget there is more to life than what you're living day to day. Our minds are hardwired for autopilot, to cruise along without learning how to drive stick shift, without being able to control where we're going or remember where that was exactly. That's how I get sometimes.

I forget how awesome my problems are, how great the mess that is my life is. I forget how much I love that mess and making that mess and how beautiful and brilliant messiness can be. I get so absorbed in the automatic instinct that I should be cleaning up, putting things in their place and making life tidy and resolved that I don't take a second to let myself enjoy it - the knocking things over, breaking rules, the incompleteness and uncertainty and playfulness of being alive. I forget how much better everything looks when you're floating above it, when you let the mess zoom out beneath you and melt from jagged pieces that don't fit to some abstract pool of dotted art.

Being up so high is addictive because you see everything. You see that there are far worse things in the world than what you are immediately feeling, than being indecisive, insecure, confused. You point out your problems from the air like a signpost on a map and see how easily you can get from A to B to the lightning bolt realisation that Your Problems are Problems People Would Kill For. They are where they should be, firmly beneath your feet. It's so easy to lose perspective and it may just have taken jumping off a mountainside to remind me to shut the fuck up sometimes and just enjoy the process. 

No comments:

Post a Comment