Flight

It occurred to me today that I was adopted 53 years ago. That means I was adopted but that now I’m…Anne.

I understand this is tantamount to a turtle realizing that it is made largely of shell, but there it is. I live seeing the detail and not the big picture much of the time.

It also occurred to me today if the belief people like Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra promote is true, that there is no past or future, just this moment again and again and again, then I will be okay for the rest of my life because in every moment so far, no matter how tough, that moment was always one I could handle. It was the following moments, thinking about them, worrying about them, that made me crazy with anxiety. If I lived 53 years being able to handle every moment, there’s no reason to think the rest of my life won’t follow suit.

What if I live always in the space of not-knowing, the space between mothers, the space between mother and no mother, the space between jobs, the space between spouses, the space between breaths, the pause, the still point between inhale and exhale? We are born: we inhale. We die: we exhale. In between, we live.

I chase birds almost every morning. I walk down to the beach or to the pier and I run after the seagulls and the pigeons, or I slowly walk up to them and wait for the moment they decide to pick up and fly. I try to get pictures of that moment, the moment between ground and flight, and it’s hard because my camera has a delay, so I have to watch the birds carefully and try to catch the before moment, the before they decide to fly moment which is so subtle. Their eyes shift, their knees bend, but more often than not I miss the moment and the birds are winging away.

I love that. The fact that a bird can be standing on the beach and then just decide it’s time to lift off and, voila: flight.

I can think about changing my life for decades. I can think about getting off the couch for hours. I want to learn how to go from static to flight at a moment’s notice, and so I watch the birds. I listen to all the reasons people have for not writing even though they say they want, more than almost anything, to write a book. I listen to the reasons why people don’t leave their marriages, their jobs, their book clubs, and it’s all starting to sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher.

I’m not buying it.

If birds, creatures who can’t even figure out how to build toilets so they shit all over the world and make a big mess, can break into flight at will, why can’t we?

The answer is we can. This moment and this moment and this moment.

This moment.

Go.