Why Do You Fly

Listen, everybody! There's no limit to how high we can fly! 
We can dive for fish and never have to live on garbage again!
Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Recently I took this picture off of seagulls flying off the back of a ferry boat on Lake Erie.  In an instant the birds went from gliding so perfectly on the wind to folding their wings so they could dive into the churning waters below scrabbling against one another to get a pretzel someone tossed to them.  To see something as awesome as flight ditched to chase bits of refined-carbohydrates that couldn't possibly be healthy was at once entertaining and sad.  

The lady who was throwing the pretzels giggled and commented on how easily amused she was, and the crowd cheered when a gull managed to catch a pretzel in mid-air. It was quite a feat, but it reminded me so much of the hope Jonathan Livingston Seagull held out for his flock to fly just because they could, even as all but a few rejected his dream of freedom as a threat to their values that maintained the purpose of flight was only to gather food.

If I asked, Why do you fly?  What would you say?  Many say they can't fly, just as they tell me they are not creative when I talk about how I teach life through artistic practice.  They think being creative is difficult even as they fluidly and perfectly create that impression without a second thought.  They believe any attempt at art falls short until it accurately represents whatever one intended to create, and this is then their limited experience. They feel similarly about life and I wish they could see how beautifully they are flying.

Art is not what hangs on walls, it is the intent to create, holding space for creative energy to flow according to a process that continuously unfolds rather than getting done.  Life is the same way.  The best life is one that is constantly unfolding according to our intent. Art and life are all about getting messy, enjoying the thrills of chaos, getting it, being unattached to keeping it, and letting our creative nature soar unfettered.  Because they are so similar, art is an excellent place to explore life -- how we create it, judge it, and enjoy it.  In art we can make mistakes and laugh like children learning. 

A wise leader once said one must be like a little child to get into the kingdom of Heaven.  In Jonathan Livingston Seagull, the Elder Gull teaches Jonathan, “Heaven is not a place, and it is not a time. Heaven is being perfect. -And that isn't flying a thousand miles an hour, or a million, or flying at the speed of light. Because any number is a limit, and perfection doesn't have limits. Perfect speed, my son, is being there."  

Yes, I really did just quote an imaginary seagull alongside a spiritual master.  The point is this, if you would like to experience Heaven on Earth practice consciously "being" through some creative experience.  

Starting October 3 we will explore creating a masterpiece of life through discussions and practices directed at using our life energy as a creative media. Eastern and western philosophy and shamanic practices will be explored to help us free up our intuitions to soar through life effortlessly.  Make a reservation by email or call 513-549-4607. 

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