Saturday, 3 September 2011

On the Nature of the Night Flight

I used to, once upon a time, et cetera, suffer from that common (or should that be uncommon?) urge that seizes us in the night, that as soon as it takes possession of our faculties sketches a diminishing and unendurable prison around us, until we are impelled to fly out into the night, full of the mindless energy of bats that have forgotten how to eat flies and moths.

Sometimes, the impulse is a magical sense of seduction: the air stirring in strange phantom whorls of potentiality: we fling ourselves into the dark, trusting on randomness or benevolent chaos to protect us. Other times it is as if we are caught in a semi-frozen slush of black ice, being ground and squeezed without volition or the ability to act on our inner, protesting self.

Personal circumstances exacerbate or ameliorate the condition: being trapped in an unhappy or intolerable situation; conversely, I find myself in a regularly imposed weekly flight, whether I desire it or not, which has unpricked that thorn quite completely. One could say I have a bellyful of flying from one half of my life to the other.

But when the whirlwind sends us spinning out into the dark, what else is there to do but trust to good luck and the tolerant smile of whatever angels or devils look down upon the dangerously, all-too-free? There are things we can do to help, foremost of which is listening to the small, crushed voices of conscience and common-sense; to remember our responsibilities and loved ones, to laugh at our idiocy and pause, and most importantly to remember how meaningless our sillinesses always prove to be in hindsight, be it running naked across snowy fields or daring the nighttime unsalubrious corners of the city. We can also identify what personal prisons are spun around us, spurring us to idiocy, and take steps to make our lives more bearable, more free.

Take care all

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