Native: #3 (of a quality) belonging to a person’s character from birth rather than acquired
Flight: The arc, the trajectory, the journey, the series of steps, the movement through perceived space-time, and the destiny (intended destination from the beginning)
Native flight: Not at all a fleeing or an avoidance; it cannot be so, because everything is connected always by the Great Spirit. And this native is no slacker, but a hunter and a certain kind of warrior. Instead, it is–all of it—part of the pathway through wonder and the fulfillment of hope.
It is native in the deepest sense and makes sense to me. and I can sense the sense of it increasingly.
It seems both a miracle and the natural course of things at once. And in both—-in all, even the unknown—-it is joy, the shared presence of joy.
That physical flight, yesterday, from Texas to Oregon, themselves bound and separated only by lines on a map, was easy and free, quite proper.
There was only one “extra” seat on the entire airplane. I have no idea why the flight attendant kept smiling at me, and then after handing me my bloody Mary mix, no ice please, she leaned over and said they had moved this one guy to another seat, because they thought I would like it that way, to have that seat beside me, as together we cruised through slate blue air with my head in those clouds . . .
And that flight was buoyed by a leaden sky. a sky with a density that allowed the wings of one plane in any plane to slice through, across, and above the atmosphere like a warm knife through butter.
Or, any knife through warm butter.
That is just as it should be: warm butter spread luxuriously on daily bread blessings, bringing joy back to Oregon, and anywhere else this native goes flying . . .
Photograph “Native Flight (got it from my Father)” © 2018 Timothy Waugh