Failure to launch

You got to learn how to fall
Before you learn to fly
And mama, mama it ain’t no lie
Before you learn to fly
Learn how to fall. 

~Paul Simon

I heard this song on my way into work this morning, and I thought, “Okay, I’ve got the falling part down, when does the flying lesson start?”

In fact, I’m sick of falling. I’m bruised and broken, and slow to get up again these days. When I look back on my life, I see only the falls, no flying. Depression, failure at relationships, jobs and dreams – falling, falling, falling.

I’ve stumbled again, and this time I don’t want to get up. I don’t see the point. I’m tired and I don’t think I’ll ever get where I want to be. I’ll never fly. I flap my wings to exhaustion, but I never leave the ground.

Today I’m laying here in the dirt again, my back broken, looking up at the sky, and it looks as unattainable as always. I see others flying around up there, but I know I’ll never join them. It just doesn’t seem to be my place. I’m no more suited to the sky than a bear. My place is with the earth-dwellers, working hard for every morsel of sustenance, trudging along, making my way on the path, dodging the holes and the rocks.

The long way around.

I’m not the only one. I see others ahead and behind, looking up at the sky wistfully, tripping over their own feet occasionally, or a stick or a stone, struggling to get back up. We’ve got falling – failing – down pat. It’s the flying that eludes us. Broken wings, or too much weight…whatever.

Nothing to see here, folks, just another body on the path. One of the casualties, ill-equipped and not particularly bright. Didn’t have what it takes. C’mon now, nothing to see.

Move along.

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