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Learning to Fly


First we learn to crawl, pushing our bellies up from the ground, and discovering as we roll and wriggle that we can move towards the things that fascinate us. In time we get frustrated at how slowly we move, and see those around us on two feet – we want to keep up with the fun, and so we haul ourselves up on our two shaky legs and learn in time to put one foot in front of the other, until with practice and lots of tumbles we are walking. But still we are too slow, and so we learn to increase our speed… we are too short so we learn to jump.

And then we are taught to sit… for long periods… and forget to be curious, forget to follow what we love, forget to be curious and fascinated and reach towards the impossible, and we settle. Settle down. To the safe job, the house, the hectic family life, the known community. And because most people around us are doing that too. Because that is the aspiration, we forget, we are encouraged to forget that our selves span two worlds – this material world, and the imaginal – the world of spirit, soul, archetype, mystery and magic. We forget that we can learn to fly, and so we settle for the offerings this world has for us.

But we are meant to soar, to bridge the two, to find a way of bringing the imaginal into this material reality. This is what we do when we create – we harness the power of our bodies, our minds and our souls into integrating the unseen with the seen, in working alchemy. We do this when we birth our babies, or write books, or paint pictures, or create new events, or costumes… We do it when we transform our suffering into healing, our pain into beauty. To create is to bridge the gap between the two worlds, to consciously co-create with the unseen, to live beyond fear and shame and limitation and live out the question – “what happens if?”

I have always longed to join the circus. And now, I realise, that I already have.

To create is to run away and join the circus – to become an illusionist, an escapologist, a juggler, a clown, a high wire walker, a trapeze artist. It is to stop taking the limitations of life quite so literally and to learn to look through them, beyond them, and to hold your own vision of possibility and take the action to make it real.

This is the creative life.

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  1. Shirley-Ann

    I so love your writing Lucy! How important it is to be reminded that we can too easily settle for the safe,the known,the familiar. As a little girl I to dreamt of running away with the circus! Got Enid Blyton to blame for that Mr Galliano’s circus!! Thanks for the inspiration to move forwards to all that lights up our souls x

  2. lucyhpearce

    You’re very welcome – Shirley Ann – I have lots of circle themed posts here… and am currently reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern which is my most favourite novel I’ve read in a decade. Highly recommended.

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