“The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply that they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings." --J.M. Barrie
“Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall” --Ray Bradbury
For many years now, I've thought about the wings I have--thought about them as tucked behind my shoulder blades, hidden and out of the way.
I've tried to be the right person, the good girl, to stay inside the lines. Taking off in flight on a moment's notice might look irrational or irresponsible.
Where do I want to fly? I want to fly to Prague and never come back. I want to fly to Prague and be a street performer and open an American bakery with sticky sweet chocolate cake and apple pies and milkshakes. I want to fly to Prague and teach two-year olds, I want to work at the children's school and lead after school programs where the boys and girls sing Simon and Garfunkel songs and act out the words with their bodies. I want to climb three flights of stairs to a tiny apartment with a buckled wooden floor and a hotplate and a single bed. I want to fashion art-pinatas and display them on the streets of Prague. I want to get away from it all. I want to get away to someplace. I want to get away to Prague.
I am sorry if you will miss me, but I have wings I can't keep them in any longer. It's like there's a thousand birds in my body clamoring to be released. Each bird a time I wanted to do something but I held my body still, each bird a word, a kick, a run, a falling-in-love I resisted.
I have wings and I can't not use them. I have wings and I'm flying over the United States. I can see the mountains and the Mississippi. I'm nearing the Atlantic--I'm migrating, and with every mile, my wings and heart grow stronger, as the work of flight turns my body into a body new and finally mine.