Electric Dreams

Flying In
Poetry and Prose
(From "How To Fly")

Linda Lane Magallón

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Magallón, Linda Lane (2005 March). Flying In Poetry and Prose. (From "How To Fly").
Electric Dreams 12(3).

Flying rises from a common human impulse that may be repressed by the waking ego when we turn to workaday chores. But someone within still remembers that primal yearning to reach for the skies. Leonardo Da Vinci agreed. He said, "For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward; for there you have been, and there you long to return." The dreamer who flies is starborn.

What is this yearning, longing
That calls from infinity?
What quasar pulses endlessly
Pitched to my inner rhythms?

Hope quivers
Desires sunthrob
The winds of space flow through me
Playing on the strings of my being.

From whence do they come?
Where do I go
To meet them?
Surrounded soundless I question

The sensual feeling of being a creature with fluttering feathers is indescribable in words, though I have felt it in dreams. Since I've never grown wings in waking life, how can this be? Through empathic imagination, that's how. There's a red-talked hawks' nest visible at the top of a eucalyptus tree in the property behind mine. Watching the hawks gliding the invisible waves of wind is a favorite source of imagery. Wishing I were they provides the emotional link to their form of flight. I am a secret fledgling. I throw my desire into the boundless regions of air and, like an arrow; it flies directly into the heart of my dreams.

If you were a bird, and lived on high,
You'd lean on the wind when the wind came by,
You'd say to the wind when it took you away:
"That's where I wanted to go today!"

Once I had a dream in which I was flying round and round in circles just above the stalks in a cornfield. Other flyers were doing the same thing. Flitting about like invisible sprites, we were all making crop circles - for no other reason than, it was fun. Most flyers like flying dreams simply because they're fun. And, some of them are.

But flying spans the entire range from agony to ecstasy, thus providing the full range of expression for the emotional self. It can be a frightened flight, fleeing the nightmare. It can be a peak experience, an emotional "high," living at the pleasure of the wind. I have flown in patterns of geometric beauty or whirling color, in the depth of darkness and in phosphorescent light. But I can also float in the midst of nothingness where there is no color, no light, no "I." Just existence. There can be feelings of euphoria, bliss, satisfaction, realization, knowingness, religious awe or love. The main purpose of flying is the sheer joy of the escape from gravity, not the destination.

Dancing is flying high
an energy rush
body and soul
ecstatically united
Free form, like birds
playing warm breezes
swooping, diving
erratic thrusts
Breathing deeply
sweating profusely
moving effortlessly
Butterflies fly, and dance
petal to petal
move over honey
Dance your dream
fly high

The famous "Ah ha!" experience is an emotional high. It comes from suddenly seeing the bigger picture. Flying is an "Ah ha!" experience all by itself, which means there is often no need to "interpret" it in traditional terms. We can if we want to, but I think we might be missing the point. Flying is a verb, not a noun, a happening, not a written language or frozen symbol. I believe we don't get the meaning and significance of flying just by talking about it. We fully "get" it only when we do it. We cannot catch the wind in a net. Nor keep flight in a cage of words.

Some words are steeds with silver wings.
Some words will never fly:
They plod, poor grubby earthbound things,
And never reach the sky.

But if winged words you chance to see,
Steal up and clamber on -
And with the poem suddenly
Go soaring to the sun.

Do you know what the most popular flying myth is? Not Pegasus, that's for sure. It's Myth of Icarus. It's told as a cautionary tale: don't reach too high or you're bound to fall.

But you the pathways of the sky
Found first, and tasted heavenly springs,
Unfettered as the lark that sings,
And knew strange raptures, - though we sigh,
"Poor Icarus!"

Well, yeah, I agree, it doesn't pay to be stupid. But I've always found it curious. It's never told as the tale of Daedelus. The tale of the clever one with the sharp mind and right attitude and emotional maturity and clear conscience who actually got all the way to his destination. Oh, no. We're supposed to focus on the empty glass, not the full one. Fortunately, that's a myth from the past, and we aren't chained to the past.

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die,
life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.

It's a constant challenge for the flyer to overcome the Kryptonite forces of amnesia, conformity and mundane thinking which do not permit the spirit to soar freely. It is a trial of strength to overcome the gravity of those forces.

But dream flying can actually strengthen the psyche. It helps keep the mind flexible, promoting resilience and even courage. Because the flyer has choice and flexibility, flying supports the belief in free will, rather than fate. Flying provides opportunity for flexibility and freedom, expanded perception and exploration of dream space. When we learn to balance of the currents of dream, we can ride them, not fall into the deep ocean of atmosphere.

Let brisker youths their active nerves prepare
Fit their light silken wings and skim the buxom air

To take appropriate risks on your hero's journey requires a clear perspective. From the heights we can hover and view virtual life as though peering down from a glass-bottomed boat though a crystal sea to see the sights on the ocean floor below. From the air, life is put into new patterns and glazed over with serenity. With a wider, clearer view of situations, new options for dealing with problems become available. Because flying is an expansion of perception, a wide view provides us with a better sense of overall direction and destiny. With a beautiful, magnificent view, it seems we can see forever.

Sometimes we fly to Tucson,
Sometimes we fly with friends,
Sometimes we soar in two on,
The hope that our wings will mend.

But any way our compass turns,
North, West, up or down
I always fly alone quite best,
When others are around.

Flying can take us places. Above the geometry of the land, the symmetry of the sea. Seeing strings of jeweled islands and undulating hills and sights so hidden from earth view that pedestrians know them only as dim tales from distant lands. Swiftly, I've been to sacred sites like Stonehenge in my dreams. Or inside a space ship, warping through time travel, on my way to a past life. Or to the far ends of the galaxy, swooping past the planets, utterly unlost in the universe of the self. Flying allows me to travel beyond shallow shadowland and to the depths of the void and the breadth of infinity.

The flyer breaks each second into new, uncharted territory, traveling beyond the habitual dream world, broadening the mind. The very act of flying is transformational magic, absorbing our restless side and leaving contentment or awe in its stead. Through flying, we embody the spirit of being one with something larger than ourselves.

Throw your dream into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back...

So, let's blow the lid off the creative glass ceiling - to soar above the limits of mundane, waking ego constraints to the heights of magical dream life.

Authors of Poetry and Prose
  • Cambridge, Richard Owen. " Let brisker youths their active nerves prepare..."
  • Coates, Florence Earle. "But you the pathways of the sky..."
  • Hall, Dorothy. "Some words are steeds with silver wings..."
  • Hughes, Langston. " Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die..."
  • Magallon, Linda Lane. "What is this yearning, longing..."
  • Medicine Heart, Yeshua. "Dancing is flying high..."
  • Milne, A. A. "If you were a bird, and lived on high..."
  • Nin, Anaďs. "Throw your dream into space like a kite..."
  • Wilkerson, Richard C. "Sometimes we fly to Tucson..."

(Dream Flights)