The long road of missteps
It started as a dream. In it I was flying with wingsuit, a group of us training for landing. In the morning I repeated the dream to a friend, standing in the bird’s rib Oculus, leaning on a badly designed railing. I recalled the specifics of the landscape, the exact shape and curve of the hill, the outcut turned and lined with pine trees, then off into the plateau. The plateau opened near a bend in the road, where we turned and glided overhead, silenced in approach. A patch of sunlit green grass stretching out at a gentle angle, down from the hill.
I came around the bend on my bike driving through the mountains. I had been on the road for hours, through horizon-stretches of farmland and up into the ridges of central France. I had been thinking about a plan for my future and how much longer I’d need to be on this bike — before arriving somewhere.
I came around the bend and there it was. Exactly as I’d seen it. Shocked by it’s presence, as if in an instant remembered. As if it were transposed in exact form from dream. I smiled, laughed at the impossibility, as I took the bend, scanning the landscape I’d once seen from above. Reconfirming every inch in awe. Watching it in reality, while simultaneously absorbed in recollection.
The same plateau, channel of short grass. The sun hitting in the same direction. I froze. Going 70 kilometers an hour, I froze. It kind of hits you. One second you are having a thought from the long conversation you have been having with yourself, the next, a patch of grass has lifted you back to a dream you’d been having.
Jolted from my escaped thoughts by what I was seeing. An unusual piece of land, plucked from my imagination, there in reality. So who could blame me if for a moment I wondered if it were not my dream that plucked it from this scene but this scene that had planted itself into my dream. And if in fact that were the case what was this place trying to tell me.
It doesn’t feel like I’m flying. There are days weighted with fear for what I might never accomplish. I’m afraid in my entirety, that I will leave this earth not having made myself more useful. Not having done the hard work to reach you. There is a constant reminder of failures and missteps. I take to the road, half in escape, unsure of my own strengths, in fear of what I have become, scared I don’t know how to love or share correctly, unsure of friendships and prior failures, trying to drive away insecurities, but having not yet met with full acceptance. I struggle wondering how I will survive, physically, financially, mentally, or ever find comforts. The past bites, but there are ways to be distracted. Mostly I’m distraught by what has yet to come. What kind of debilitating pain takes even this away, puts even this in perspective.
I have had a thought about the simplicity of life, as if seeing something new in the world suddenly. As if the complexity of life were a bunch of boxes that you carried. Differing in shapes and sizes, closer and farther away. In the very happy carefree calm moments you get to put them all down. The boxes of your complexity, Russian doll-'d.
One box, the simplest, you.
I rummaged through the options as the plot of land grew smaller in the distance behind me.
The odd premonition of taking this turn, wingsuit motorbike, training for landing. One slight moment of reprieve, even if just for the joy of having now been to this place twice. That by some power in the world I’ve come up just where the universe intended. For whatever that means. And even though I’ve been worried, and even though I haven’t been sure of myself, or of where I am going, that I found a road where my memory had once been. I laughed, half in joy, half at the thought and absurdity, and if it were not the long road doing some of the talking.