When I die, I want my tombstone to read, “The boy who flew.”
It’s a bit ironic that “the boy who flew” would be buried below six feet of earth, but no more so than an agnostic, liberal attending a conservative, evangelical university. This post, however, isn’t just about the boy, it’s also about flying.
In the film Struck By Lightning, protagonist Carson Phillips asks his peer,
In what grade do we stop believing in ourselves? In what grade do we stop believing period? I mean, someone has to be a Nobel Peace Prize Winner. Someone has to be a ballerina. Why not us?
I’ve been thinking about these words all day. It is so easy to get carried away with pursuing tangents: alternative paths/goals that have nothing to do with our dreams. Be it the temptation to confuse the material wealth associated with success for the pure joy we felt after our childhood lemonade stand’s first sale, or how easily we can get carried away working for the respect of those who don’t respect us, in life’s labyrinths we can quickly lose our dreams. And even worse, we can forget how to dream.
A bird’s eye view
To be “The boy who flew.” To never forget how small a wall appears from the sky. To not let tangents stand as excuses for avoiding difficult questions: Who do I want to be? What do I want to do? How can I leave the world around me better than I found it?
Those are scary questions. Scary because we cannot ignore an answer once we have found it. So instead of seeking answers, most of us ignore these questions entirely.
Who do I want to be?
I have no idea.
What do I want to do?
Right now, all I want to do is write.
How can I leave the world around me better than I found it?
I am still too afraid to answer this one.
The boy who fell
I guess the scariest thing about flying, is it gives us further to fall. But I want to be the boy who flew. Not because I am an optimist, or believe I am special, but because I will be unhappy any other way.
So here’s to candle wax, twigs, and abandoned feathers. I may be the boy who fell, but first I’ll be the boy who flew.