"Spin" in aviation training: a "stall" or loss of lift, a subsequent nose-down spin, the specific actions required for recovery, and the feeling, after recovery, that you could tackle absolutely anything!

Friday, 7 November 2014


In the middle of all of this; in the seat of life's chariot careening through curtains of sky dark, billowing cumulous clouds of self doubt and ground level acres of existentialist fog, up pops an offer: my talented friend is going to the Adirondacks to close up her cabin and do I want to come?  Like there is any possible answer other then, "Yesssssmaaammm!"

 I drive the route feeling odd all the way. 'Terrified because it's easier to stay home, but my cells have some kind of agenda. It is as if they know that this trip will be good for me. I drive to Ganonoque and grocery shop. I feel like everyone is staring at me. I buy some of the right things, but forego others simply because I don't want to walk down the soup aisle for a third time. I make my way over the border, ours and theirs, and navigate down through Fort Drum. I keep track of the road signs while catching glimpses of the soldiers in fatigues driving to or from work, the tanks parked next to each other, and the helicopters hovering at 1000 feet like can openers with compound eyes. I drive through a few small towns until I finally find the cabin's driveway, my friend waiting at the gate.

The cabin is remote, the Adirondacks are beautiful, but I don't get it until the next morning. My friend has wood that needs to be split, so I offer. She is happy that I can do this and I am giddy to have the chance. I head out to the front of the cabin and set up the splitting stump. I can hear the stream bubbling down the rocks towards the pond. I start spitting wood then find myself laughing. My friend is an accomplished violinist. She is playing Bach inside the cabin and I can hear every note. And I love every note. I adore Bach. I adore the violin. This is a treat; lost on others perhaps but so perfect for me.

Here, in the middle of nowhere, near the army base, with the stream, and the log, and such beautiful, perfect notes, I manage to fill into my body. This is what my cells knew. I am so present that it's ridiculous. The trick is to hold onto the feeling.

 If nothing else, I am grateful.