This abovementioned title is actually a quote of a dead little girl to Nicolas Cage’s character, Seth, in City of Angels (1998) starring also, of course, Meg Ryan. The context is a discussion on angels having wings, and of life after death. This quote also speaks a lot to us about life and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to more fully explore the imagery here.
There are many things that give us wings in life, beyond even Red Bull. (There is no product placement there, honestly.) But these are no good to us unless we can: 1) actually fly, or 2) experience what Pink Floyd might call, ‘suspended animation,’ i.e. the sensation of unintelligible bliss in our flying.
You might be asking, ‘What on earth is this guy talking about? Flying?’ Of course, I’m not just talking flying in reality. I’m musing on the concept of flying in life, as it pertains to the living of it.
There is a real problem in this oft-plastic world of ours; there are too many subscribers to the ‘wings theory,’ who also coincidentally never or only rarely experience the wind on their faces. There are too many people who miss life by never going onto the balcony of the spiritual, where the winds of the spirit infuse and buoy the wings, powering flight—living flight.
We bungy jump once to say we did it. ‘There! We did it! (You can leave me alone now.)’ It’s a trophy statement. Being able to say it allows us to quickly shift back into the corner of life unseen. Now, we may even be too scared to bungy jump but so long as we’re not too afraid to live an honest, authentic life, where failure is celebrated, where pain is not denied, and where grief is allowed and accepted, we’re feeling the wind on our faces.
This spiritual means to reality is the essence of life that many people baulk at plainly because it looks too hard; ‘There must be an easier, more comfortable way,’ is the sentiment. Well, there isn’t—not so long as the truth remains. Failure, pain and grief: they exist and there’s no denying it.
Denial only gets us business-class entry to hell, the spiritual place of the dead and the maimed unfortunates who refuse to be healed.
Having wings that are useful in facilitating that ‘wind on the face’ effect means we live life truly; the way it was always intended. We do not waste the precious gift.
© S. J. Wickham, 2009.