Friday, January 21, 2005

Learning to Fly - Part 2...Transitions

As I was flying just last night (again) I was reading. It has become easier to read (and rest) as I get more and more used to flying. When I first started this adventure even reading a magazine was difficult, not only was it hard to concentrate on any thing that was written, but my hands would get the pages wet.

In the last couple of flights, I have found that I can actually read pretty well (and fast) on the plane - it seems to calm my nerves and distract my mind from wandering and going somewhere irrational. Last night I was reading "Ten Lies the Church Tells Women" by J. Lee Grady (a book that I hope to "review" here soon - I wasn't overly impressed) and as I was reading about a great number of women that have been terribly mistreated through time because they exerted themselves and their ideas something occured to I remembered that I was flying.

Something that I have noticed about flying is that things are most unpredictable and stressful during periods of transition. Obviously, take-offs and landings are periods of extreme transition. During take-off, a huge, heavy (I wonder how heavy?) plane is being coaxed into going from sitting on a runway to flying in the air at high speeds.

Landing is equally stressful. Now you have to get a huge, heavy plane to SLOW DOWN and land without hurting anyone (can you say "controlled fall"?). I have also noticed that you can pretty much count on some sort of bumping or turbulence when entering and/or exiting clouds or when going over mountains or when the pilot is trying to slow the plane down for landing (nicely, a plane is made for flying smoothly at high speed, not so much for flying slow with flaps open and landing gear down). Sometimes the pilot turns the plane while doing one or more of the above which is when things can get really interesting.

It occurs to me that transitions during flight...and life...are difficult, stressful, taxing - but can be ultimately fulfilling. The book I was reading told of women that had been tortured for doing things we take for granted today. Things like just stating that they may not agree with someone in authority or even for things they had no control over. Over time we have worked through transitions that have made huge impacts over large portions of our world and there have been others that only affect a few, but they all seem to have an accumulative effect. However, we still don't learn from the past.

Transition still seems to be painful, maybe that's just our nature. We like things the way they are and changing them makes us uncomfortable.

Did I use that word? Change? I guess I did.

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"...Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:7-18