I love birds. Watching a bird in flight, seeing its feathers at work (here, like the flaps of an airplane landing) is something which fascinates me.
I’ve spent most of my dream life in flight, flapping my arms hard, swirling and swooping and snatching things in my talons. I’m not sure where the obsession with flight came from, but it has always been there since the memory of my earliest dream. I never “drive” anywhere in a dream and every journey starts with me running as fast as I can–sometimes, heaving my baby on my back with instructions to “grip tight”–as I flap my arms as hard as I can, gaining lift and slowly breaking free of earth.
Sometimes, flying is hard, slow, and panicked, like a mud hen running on the water, squawking and demanding, negotiating with gravity for better lift, invoking the bird gods for divine intercession.
I’ve nested in dream trees blissfully high and out of sight. Like a Buddhist shrine I once saw tucked in the hillside of Northern California far off every beaten track, there are wonders only seen in flight. At night, as I fall asleep and slip into flying dreams, these sights come back to me: a mother grey whale seen swimming north off the coast of Oregon, shepherding her calf, her fin touching his just as I touched the arm of my then five-year-old son as we watched them swim from our vantage point high above, noting the mist spewing from their blowholes in a slow rhythm of bellows rising and falling.