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One of my all-time favorite G.K. Chesterton quotes, this has grown into an important part of my ‘philosophy of life.’
To take myself lightly is not to disrespect, or dismiss myself. I must take myself seriously enough that others may also respect and benefit from my existence. But if I hold self lightly, I’ll have the humility to let the bubble of illusion pop, or the balloon of reputation fly off, without whimpering.
Flying is about light. Not just being light enough to rise, but about seeing clearly – through the lens of truth, in a way that corresponds with reality and is unclouded by self-delusion, sin, or selfishness. Lightness is about detachment – from my comfort, from my demands being met, from the promise of outcomes or progress.
Flying like this requires real gravitas – real and deep connection to the ground of being, to place, history, virtue, reality. Angel flight is about high humor – the Divine sense of comedy in which we stumbling, fumbling heroes turn out all right and even save the day. Perhaps angels can fly, mostly, because they know that in the end (as St. Juliana of Norwich said) “All manner of things shall be well.”