Thursday, November 15, 2007

Why write?

I can't put my finger on when, but sometime in my flying career, after Allison and I had taken up flying long distances, I found myself getting into a habit. After I shut the plane down, safe on the ramp or wherever I parked, I would touch the cowling or the propeller boss, and very quietly say or whisper "good plane". I though of it as my way of saying thanks-- to the plane, the people who built it and maintain it, the people who taught me to fly, the Creator who made the living Earth and the sky above it we had just traversed.

I regularly read a column by Rick Durdan, a lawyer and pilot who writes about his own passionate love for flying and the sky; I dare anyone to read his account of his daughter's first glider solo without tearing up. A year and a half ago, he wrote this:

Just before we closed the hangar door, and when he thought I wasn't looking, Hack gave the cowling a pat and I saw him mouth the word, "Thanks." I looked away and concentrated on pulling the sliding door closed.

I remember reading that and thinking: I thought I was the only one.

In this society, we have few more effective ways to communicate with other people, including people you do not know and may never meet, than the written word. If you ever need a reason to write, you can go back to that. When you write, you make everyone less alone.

1 comment:

Allison MacDuffee said...

Beautiful! Keep writing!