Sunday, May 10, 2009

I went sky diving yesterday. It's something I've wanted to do for several years. Even at that, Ben had to hold my hand tight and lead me into it; as with many things, the scariest part was the preparation and lead up. But after all was said and done, I stepped into the doorway, made my hands into a fist and held my arms under my chin and leaned, then fell, into the wind, knees first.

I froze and kept my arms clutched to myself, not extending them as I had practiced, so my instructor had to reposition me for the half-fetal position but in a second, or 20 seconds? time ceases to execute itself in the vacuum of the wind, I reached out for the air just like I was supposed to and was course-corrected and flying toward a distant horizon, hell! freaking Beijing! my legs separated into a V and knees bent, pelvis crunched forward and arms extended into a touchdown signal, hands at eye level and my personal secret for success, elbows held high. Yeah. You gotta keep your elbows high.

It was all over in another second, or another 2 hours, I can't remember which, and as was predicted, I was ready to get up and go again. And again. When you fly above the earth like you have dreamed about doing since you were a little kid, you're not apt to have just one run at it or to say, ok on to the opera in Milan! You want it, you need it, you crave it. Flying. Just like you've always dreamed.

One thing that really surprised me is how soft the air was. I anticipated it being like when you are standing at a stoplight in a really strong wind. It's not like that at all. Rather, the air is soft and slow, almost; highly, highly sensual. And you rue your boots, your gloves, your helmet, your jumpsuit, all your safety stuff! You just want to tumble and roll, bathe in the soft, soft air. You just wanna be barefoot. I had such a strong urge to play in the air! You want to tuck and roll and flip without any limit or penalties like gravity. Unfortunately, they don't let the first timers do that and in fact, you have to be pretty darn good, like instructor certified to get to do that. But omigod, it would be fun. So. Much. Fun.

That big son of mine knows me well, mostly. He said he wasn't sure I would go through with it until about two-thirds of the way through the training video. They moved from the technical/practical aspects of flying, as they call it, into the soft sale and completely unconscious of the transition, I pulled out my handbag and began to take off my jewelry. He laughed to himself as he sat next to me and thought, Game On. He said I had tears in my eyes as we sat on the bench and waited for our turn but bragged about my perfect form in the air, over and over and over again.

Everybody needs to fly once in a while. Everybody needs someone to brag about them, too. My mother never flew and she sure never bragged about me and that effected my emotional and psychological development, and textured my social development. But today, I am quite warm in the memory of me one on one with the pretty blue sky of California on a beautiful spring day; the soft surprise of that some accomplishments can bring; and the surety, the bedrock, hardcore, youcan'ttellmeanything different surety, that you, sorry excuse for a human being such as you are, are loved.

Ben tells me he's quite certain that next, I am going to get a tattoo.

The 'Kan EWA


raymond pert said...

I enjoyed how you chronicled this experience and how it became a way of writing about your relationship with your mother and about you and that big son of yours. My Facebook friend Zoe just skydiving as one of the five things she's always wanted to do. Ergo, I'm going to do the only rational and sane thing: I'm sending her a link to this post! I know she'll love it.

MarmiteToasty said...

My goodness JBelle........ you have such a wonderful life..... skydiving aint nuffin I have ever craved to do though lmfao....... now, a hotair balloon ride, now, thats a different kettle of fish..


The Fool said...

I applaud you. I've always wanted to try sky-diving. Was this a Mother's Day present? I look forward to a photo of your first tat. Now, one of thos I've got...

A doff of the hat to you, you daredevil. ;)

MarmiteToasty said...

Flashing you my two tats lol


toadman said...

I skydive every's a curse we falling angels have to endure.


But seriously...terminal velocity? Man. that rocks.. don't think I'd ever do it..

Tell me, was it a tandem jump?

The Fool said...

Oh, said "tats"...I thought you said something else. Okay, what part of your body am I virtually looking at? I wager one's on the leg...the other is an ankle adornment. You don't seem the type to tat your butt or mammaries. Now, that Cheechako...she might just go for it...hell, she jumps out of planes. That's got to be a step up from a motorcycle mama.


MarmiteToasty said...

I have one on each ankle :) but Im getting another tiny musical note one in a few weeks time - the note is cos of me name and cos of the musical ability of me lads..

Dont know as yet where it will be lol.... do they tattoo landing flaps? LOL


PDX Pup said...

wow. i still can't believe you did this. A-MAZING.

Carla said...

How fabulous! It's something that everyone should do at least once.

inlandempiregirl said...

I really love this post. I hate heights and I think I could get up and do it after reading this. I, like brother RP, liked the connection with the relationship with your mother. Our mothers certainly have a part in defining who we are. Now.. getting a tattoo is another story for me.