Learning to fly

In my dreams I can fly.  Not always very well. Often I struggle to get altittude. Sometimes I can’t soar like I want to, but I can fly, and in my dreams I can, and other people can’t.

My son often talks about super powers. We often have debates about which super powers would be preferable. “Would you rather have heat beam eyes, or be able to go invisible?” I’ve told my kids a few times recently that when you’re an adult you get new powers and some of them are super. I didn’t really know what I meant until I read this. I had some vague ideas about how you gain the power of being responsible for yourself, about being able to communicate with people in a deeper, more capable way than you could when you were younger.

Peggy talks about powers that seem to be spiritual in nature (rather than the physical powers that most comic book super heroes have). I’ve for a time had a sense that some people had spiritual ‘powers’ that others didn’t. The obvious ones like Ghandi, the Dalai Lama seemed to have a spiritual resilience. Dan Millman too addresses the notion of spiritual powers in the Way of the Peaceful Warrior. I’ve never before this seen them articulated in a Quaker sense though. It seems almost unquakerly to talk about powers. Powers are something that differentiate us, make us special, unique, better than. This feels so opposite to Quaker notions of equality that it feels uncomfortable to even talk about it. But we’re happy enough with the notion of people having different gifts. And as Quakers we seem well versed with as a very few small people being able to make a huge difference through faith and speaking truth to power. So maybe it’s OK for us to have powers too.

I resonate with some of the powers that Peggy speaks of especially the first two, but some, like quixotic vision and time travel I don’t even begin to understand or experience.  Hyper-resilience I am interested in. I’ve always been fairly good at discipline, and I’ve seen eating well and exercising as disciplined activities that give me the energy to do the things I want to do. I’ve never seen them though as a means of connecting with the ‘divine power source’. This really struck a chord with me, eating and exercising as acts of worship and connection with that which is.

So maybe if I keep at it, one day I’ll be able to fly. Somehow though, that doesn’t seem quite so super a power as being able to love.


2 Responses to “Learning to fly”

  1. Dreaming bigger, and making it happen. « blankpete Says:

    […] Kirstin and I have had the super-powers conversation with Julian’s children, and at that time “Embarassingly Parallel Self-Replication” beat “Invisibility” hands-down.  But in real life perhaps I could be “Actualisation Man”, and my super-power could be turning abstract into concrete, but I’d take everything through a jelly phase first! […]

  2. Learning to land « Pensieve Says:

    […] I was given this cartoon recently. I so often dream I can fly. I really want to be able to, it seems so ridiculous that I can’t. Like Peggy’s daughter I almost expect to just take off sometimes. Maybe it’s because I fly in planes at least every couple of weeks, it’s getting into my blood. Maybe it’s a metaphor for my stage of life, the way my career is really taking off and my work is so exciting and liberating. […]

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