Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Eagle Has Landed.

(Pre-script: In order to become the sponge that absorbs this post like hot soapy dishwater, you will first need to go down to the playlist, click on the song, "Superman, by Five for Fighting, #10 on the playlist, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator or the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." -Isaiah 40:28-31

I have never been carried on the wings of an eagle, but I have ridden in an airplane many times. It was not always fun. There was turbulence, the claustrophobia at being in a tight space in the sky with too many people and not enough air, leg, or elbow space. The food was not good. I might have had some circulation problems. The great Physics Professors of the world will tell you to stand on a scale while you are high up in an airplane, because surprise, you weigh less the higher you go, since weight is an equation of gravity. You still have mass though. And if you are nervous and Catholic on a turbulent airplane, I'm sure you have a lot of Mass, too. I pray a lot on airplanes. Really, I just want my feet to return to the ground. The Earth ground, not the ground of the airplane in which I am flying high above the Earth, my home planet.
So I really can't imagine enduring the flight of an eagle. I am sure it is extremely windy. I imagine I would get bugs in my teeth, bugs everywhere. Bug gut splatter on my cheeks, bugs I, oops, swallowed, that were flown at me to be protein rich snacks to keep my energy up, so that I do not fall asleep on this big bird and fall off. ("Thank you, Lord, for that unexpected protein.") Does the eagle swoop in such a way that the eagle clears a cliff or a wall or a branch, but I still get wacked? Exactly where do I hold on? What are the chances it could turn around and peck me, or squawk at me? "HUMAN on my BACK! Get the HUMAN off of my Back!! She is like an ADDICTION! Get her OFF!"

"Then Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain and said,"This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles wings and brought you to myself." -Exodus 19:3-4

Y'all, it is clear to me that my idea of what it means to ride on the wings of an eagle have always been a bit too idealistic. They have been glamorized. Because I DO remember what the Israelites had just been through in the beginning of Exodus; it had been painful, scary, and dangerous, and...I doubt that in the midst of their deliverance they felt very much like they were being carried on anyone's wings.
At one point, the idea of flying in an aero-plane was novel, fresh, ideal. Then people did it. Then they did it again. And again. And again. At some point people "got it," that the aero-plane was a small thing (relatively speaking) to herd people into for the purpose of transporting them from point a to point b, fast. Sometimes the period between point a and point b is more pleasant than others. Sometimes it is downright restful and restorative. I have at times found the perfect sweet spot for resting my head, and have slept peacefully and deeply, lulled as I was by the white noise of the engine. Oh, sweet white noise of the engine when exhausted girl has found a sweet surprisingly comfortable position in which to fall asleep, the cares of my "real life" far below me on ground, the ground of the Earth, my home planet, which I am soaring high above. At other times, there are 5 crying babies, I am stuck between two "leg spreaders" who are also "snorers," and "arm rest hoggers," and the movie is one I have seen already and hated already. But at the end of each flight, I have always, always ended up where I was supposed to be- On two feet, on the ground, the ground of the Earth, my home planet, at point b in the destination. It is always such a relief.


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