I made this image some years ago.
It embodied then, as now, the sense of wanting ti fly we all seem to have.
In the space of a week or two, I listened to two pieces of music I had heard before.
Sibelius “Symphony #5 in E-flat”, and Ralph Vaughn-Williams “The Lark Ascending”.
“To Fy To Soar” was the result.
In writing the description for the website I concluded my description with this:
“The image also contains, the desire and will we have to relentlessly reach out and reach up. Our spirits seem to struggle against the bonds pinning us to earth.”
Like the happenstance of hearing music and the visceral trigger it produced, the “current news” produced another visceral trigger. When I went to move this image into the homepage slot, I clearly saw my statement in the light of the on going situation and the work of individual people to save the lives of those who cast their lot with us. That decision certainly changed their course in unimaginable ways.
It’s easy to say we dream of flight. It’s almost glib.
The reality is, for many individuals, that dream is a waking reality. Flight becomes the only choice left for a chance to keep on living.
I saw the news item that summarized what it took (and continues to take) to make good on the promises that were made in our names. Our word as individual citizens was bound to the mission and actions of our government. Believability and trust are what we all count on. It has taken literally, a world-wide effort of individuals to act where our institutions could or would not, just to extricate one person and his family. “Zak’s story” we sort of know, but it is multiplied by countless thousands of others. So many are needing to fly. The roar of engines should be constant and deafening.
The air should be black with migration.
My visceral reaction was and remains stunning to what we as human beings are capable of both horrendous and heroic.
The dizzying heights of our dreams, our liberty to act on them, collide with the insistent meanness of oppression and subversion. Somehow, the altercation seems always to smash, break and shred even the smallest dreams. Yet, a dream is relentless, always hoping.
In the oppressor’s garden, the dream is a tenacious weed.
How do we see the dreamers and dignify their dreams?
A simple way would be to treat them as our own. To say, “If it were me, what would I most need?”
If art has any meaning it would be this.
Art is a model for the courage it takes to turn an idea- the dream- into a mission, acting to express in material terms, that dream. Once it’s rendered, the physical expression of the dream and all it embodies is on view for all to see.
The truth of the promises and actions resides in the fact of the outcomes.
I’ll let ‘Zak’ have the final word on what it means to fly, to soar . “Wheels Up.”
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