Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What it feels like to fly

When I first stepped off the ground and was lifted into flight by a hang glider, I lost my head.  Literally I did not think of anything.  The experience was pure sensation.  Only at the prompting of my instructors to "FLARE HARD" did my mind register language and thought.  Unbelievable to me and to the amazement of onlookers, I landed my first solo flight on my feet.  Taking those first steps into thin air sends waves of pleasure through the body and has the after affect of an extremely great buzz.  If I were able to live in the air, I would.

After that first flight, which was my graduation gift from Richard, I came home to the reality of being grounded full time.  I took a job at the library and tried to get comfortable with my new identity as a working mom who hoped to make a living as a professional somebody. 

Then, while closing up the library one day, a homeless man attempted to strangle me.  In my shock, I ended up laughing and telling a joke, which had the effect of saving my life.

Several months later, a man with a semi automatic weapon came into the library parking lot, opened his car door, and aimed the gun at the teens and librarians who were near the entrance. 

I awoke to the realization that I was surrounded by a culture of gangs.

And Elliot was not even old enough for preschool. 

So I came home and tried to figure out what to do.  My illusions were shattered.  Yet looking back I realize what a gift is was to come home and discover who I am and what I want my life to be like.

There are no certainties.  I fumble around a lot.  I try to make things.  I try to write little things.  I try to supply my son with a quality home education.   I'm learning not to be so terribly hard on myself for failing to be a professional somebody.  Because professional somebodies don't have what I have.

They don't have you.

In order to understand flight, the scientific explanation of Bernoulli's principle is somewhat helpful:

Bernoulli's principle can be used to calculate the lift force on an airfoil if the behaviour of the fluid flow in the vicinity of the foil is known. For example, if the air flowing past the top surface of an aircraft wing is moving faster than the air flowing past the bottom surface, then Bernoulli's principle implies that the pressure on the surfaces of the wing will be lower above than below. This pressure difference results in an upwards lift force.[nb 1][22] Whenever the distribution of speed past the top and bottom surfaces of a wing is known, the lift forces can be calculated (to a good approximation) using Bernoulli's equations[23] – established by Bernoulli over a century before the first man-made wings were used for the purpose of flight. Bernoulli's principle does not explain why the air flows faster past the top of the wing and slower past the underside. To understand why, it is helpful to understand circulation, the Kutta condition, and the Kutta–Joukowski theorem.

This year, my blogging friends have been my lift force.  You have the biggest hearts and continually bless me with your presence here.  Thank you so much for helping me to remember what it feels like to fly again.  Today my wish is for you all to have a blessed, peace filled and beautiful Christmas...full of the love that you so generously send out into the world.


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