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White Clouds

High flying fleet of billowy boats,

Quietly cruising celestial seas.

Windblown wads in whimsical shapes,

Gracefully riding the heavenly breeze.

White-robed Bedouins bound to the sky,

Wandering aimlessly out of my view. Would that my cares could be as the clouds, Lifted, wafted, lost in the blue.  ~Gene Tagle

My father and I do not have a storybook relationship.  However, in recent years some healing has taken place I think for both of us.  He continues to see his world in black and white through his eyes and life experiences.  But instead of me trying to make him see that the world also has shades of gray and marvelous bright colors, I accept that we each can only see what we're ready to see.
I've been thinking lately about my Dad's love of the sky.  He was a Navy trained pilot for Eastern Airlines for over 25 years.  He loved to fly.  He is an exacting person so the intense responsibility and need for precise procedures was right up his alley.  He loved structure, at least in his younger days.  However, I think the words in John Gillespie Magee's poem High Flight, his favorite poem by the way,  tell why it was his passion and relief for his soul.  He's a very wound-up kind of guy.  Flying, like roller-coasters, watching ocean waves, sex and alcohol, gives you a sense of loss of total control, a freedom of sorts in letting go and takes you outside yourself if even for a few moments. 
High Flight
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth

of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of—wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence.

Hov’ring there,

I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air....

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue

I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace

Where never lark nor even eagle flew—

And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.  


As I mentioned in an earlier post on Autumn memories, my Dad and I loved watching the skies at night, too, for constellations and shooting stars. The sky is so limitless that you can dream big dreams, feel connected to something bigger than yourself, and perhaps let go of those surly bonds of Earth for a short while.




Beautiful post! Thank you

Beautiful post! Thank you for sharing your father, your feelings, and the two poems (2 of my favorites by the way) with us. That connection to something bigger is exactly what inspires my soul and energizes each day for me as I watch the sunlight bursting through the clouds and streaking across the sky, or walk through the woods completely immersed in the sights, sounds, smells, and textures of nature.

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