Aviation, Flying. It Was Once a Big Part of Me

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Beautiful Honolulu

Well, this weekend has been a productive one.  I started out my day by writing a speech which I am hoping I will be able to use at my new job as a speaker regarding lived experiences with mental illness.  After that I still felt kind of creative but had a hard time deciding what I wanted to write.  I decided that I would take the advice of a young woman and try and ‘steal’ some inspiration from another writer.  I had a literary journal called “Tinhouse” by my bed, (I strongly recommend anyone who enjoys quality literature, prose or poetry, to get their hands on literary journals, especially this one).  I opened it up and looked for some interesting short stories.  I found a story set all in snail-mail letters from a person in Russia writing to a sister who had gone to America during the second world war.  All the while, writing many letters, the author of the pages doesn’t hear from her sister.  I am wondering if in the end she will have been caught trying to leave communist Russia, but that isn’t what my blog for today is about.  I took a bit of inspiration from reading this epistolary story and wrote one of my own.  I often take a lot from real life to put into my stories, but I make sure they are 98.5% fictional.  Sometimes this has caused me difficulties especially when I write dark or sad stuff.  I wonder what will happen if one day millions of people actually read my stuff.  When you look at the recent events with journalists, and even events from long ago, it gets a bit scary.  I often wonder if my memoir/autobiography “Through The Withering Storm” (available to link to on this website under ‘books’) and my second memoir, “Inching Back To Sane” (also available in kindle and paperback through this website) may one day spark off a person to contact me who I don’t really want to contact.  So far I have had no negative experiences, I have even become bold enough to put my email on the inside page of my books, and I regularly pass out cards with my name, email and phone number on them.  Sorry for all the rambling, I suppose I am a bit tired as I write this.  It is 5:00am and I have been writing for some time.  As usual, look for today’s poem below today’s photo.  And please feel free to send me your comments, opinions, rants, anything.  I would love to hear more from those who may read this blog and poetry forum.

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Here’s a photo of a glider similar to one I used to fly as a teenager in cadets

 

Private Pilot

 

Soaring above the ground there was no sound

But laughing as my heart began to pound

I could not help but feel such happiness

My first flight gave me such total bliss

 

I set my goal to reach the very stars

I found no joy in sneaking into bars

I needed just a headset and glasses

To attend my mile-high flight school classes

 

I felt so great about who I had become

Mind and body and the blue sky were one

I could do it all with my little plane

I hoped I would never come back again

 

You see I had been in an awful place

Where my mind was broken and lost in space

I was given up on and locked away

And was told this was where I had to stay

 

I thought if I could run far enough

Life would not be so awfully tough

But my poor sick mind came along with me

And from my illness I was never free

 

Then so like all who came before and since

It was time to stop acting like some prince

And own who I was truly in my heart

No matter if it tore me all apart

 

I had to give up on a lot of things

Worst of all the joy friendship sometimes brings

And on love that I once thought was all mine

Even some simple things like beer and wine

 

It was so hard to give up on flying

Even now I think of some day trying

But I have found a precious joy on Earth

Writing gives my grounded soul a rebirth

 

And so when life takes things from you so dear

And it seems that the world is full of fear

Look to the simple things that give you joy

And let it be for you your soul’s new toy

 

 

Leif Gregersen

January 18, 2015

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