This is a flying drawing I did in 2012. It reminds me of one my early songs.
In 1978 I was working at the Wind River Nursery in the Gifford Pinchot Nat'l Forest, just south of St. Helens before she blew. A friend of mine loaned me his big old reel-to-reel tape recorder to lay down some music I'd been working on. One of the songs was about flying.
Here's a YouTube link for it: http://youtu.be/mq_0Ot4YQ-8
This is what the drawing eventually became:
I call the painting "Come Away, Come Away" (oil on canvas, 32 X 42, 10/2017) from the chapter title in "Peter and Wendy”, J.M. Barrie's profoundly moving tale where they soar out the open window. Sad to say, after they return from Neverland and grow up, they forget how to fly.
The last chapter is incredibly moving. Peter returns for Wendy after she has grown up. She says "Don't waste the fairy dust on me. I've forgotten how to fly." He tells her he'll soon teach her again. She demurs, and tries to get him to stay. Peter draws back, saying "I don't want to be a man. I don't want to go to school and learn solemn things."
Fast forward to the plasticity of dreams. I painted this in 2017, which is already..last year! Point is, I want to envision myself flying NOW, as I am today.
It feels like much of the time I simply endure this world. Nevertheless, I remain emboldened by a graphic vision the Lord placed in me when I was yet a boy,the hope of..UNALLOYED FREEDOM.
It's imbedded too deep for the devices of this world to extract, although he world has done its darnedest to teach me its solemn ways and mold me into someone who "knows better".
I still hear the call, "Come Away, Come Away!”
In one sense, I do not blame Peter for not wanting to become “a man”.
I mean, what do we have to look at as a model when we consider the prospect of becoming one? I find the question only resulting in dilemma beyond dilemma. It was enough of a problem for the great Russian speculative thinker Nicolas Berdyaev to make the following declaration:
“MAN IS NOT WHAT HE IS.”
If he is not what he is, then what IS he? It must be something far far beyond what we’ve seen up to this point, not just someone who’s been born, but someone who lives out their destiny. It must be someone who doesn’t get old and die, someone who transfigures the whole world.
Notes on the vicissitudes of the creative life.