I've been present to a number of "things" that keep vying for space in my brain. In wanting to write another blog, I've not been able to come up with what might be the clever, pithy connection that I'm striving for. But over time, which is consistent on this planet, some items occur with milestones or data points with relevance to me that conjure up a random mish-mash of thoughts that are connected by a spider's web of imagination. I originally wanted to somehow title this blog "Schadenfreude" as I was also reminded by a young lady, who is an assistant to our dear cousin Gary Kline, who studied Psychology and German thinking that German is the language of Psychology (see Freud, Jung, etc.). But Schadenfreude is the joyful-hate of another person and I definitely want to bring some joy or hope to this silly, little social world, so Schadenfreude would not do. Turns out there is no German opposite of that word except for "gluckschmerz" which is not a real word. But there is the equivalent opposite idea, Mudita.
Mudita, a Sanskrit or Pali word meaning essentially the joy of others with no self interest! And I am...very joyful at all that has transpired, and very interested, most specifically around aviation. The recent first was the subsequent solo and then fast Private Pilot certificate earned by Mary Earickson!
I cannot say enough about Mary and her dedication to earning her certificate but what I truly love is how she helps represent the missing of women in aviation that is woefully lacking. The pilot community and airlines lament and are crashing down in bankruptcy due to an increasing pilot shortage, yet we struggle to increase the ranks of women flyers just as we finally celebrate the nomination of a woman for president of these United States. Our differences are very minor...physical really, and Mary and other women like her prove time and time again, that anything is possible!
Meanwhile other individuals like Weston, Tate and Chris are screaming along racing for their turn at the Private Pilot table. Their dedication and joy to the craft of aviation is a testament to their mentor Craig Foltz, who I have much affection for. Without such great teachers and mentors like Craig, Jack, Jay, Art and many, many others, such as those at the very busy The Flying School, aviation's dearth of pilots would become a historical footnote in the logbook of aviation time.
But even as the industry and interested parties search for the answers, occasionally consensus and communication sway the day like the passage of 3rd Class Medical Reform! Although not the be-all, end-all, solutions for every day freedom fliers in this country, a noble effort allowing our continued freedoms of flights to give us pause for more joy and hope in our sometimes fractured society. As long as little boys like Bill and Jay get to play and have excellent adventures in the sky, some versions of joy are still fliting on the horizon.
And within those realms I see skies of pleasure that introduce us to new technologies and new places like Walden, CO (where is Waldo?). To simply move through the air within a 2 1/2 hour span to visit a beautiful place in the middle of nowhere is singing to the heights!
(click on image to find Waldo!)
I've said this before that aviation is a small community and synchronistic events occur all the time as it did recently when I finally soloed a Cessna 172! For those not normally slathered in the context of aviation, soloing one plane or another may not seem like a big deal. That is once you've soloed one, all the rest are essentially the same. But the C-172 has been my white whale ever since I started working toward a certificate. The milestones of certificates from Sport to Pilot have been wonderful but always elusive was flying the venerable Cessna by myself. Finally though, Jay Turnbull, the manager of The Flying School, was happy to sign me off in flying any of the 3 C-172's on the line. So with plenty of previous training from my previous instructors including my good friend Victor at Texas Flight, I chose the G1000, N713FS. This is the same plane that my wonderful wife, then girlfriend, bought me a Discovery flight in on Christmas 2009!
Mudadistic synchronistic taps of joy appear around all us no matter whether we fly our "tiny" Experimental Kitfox to a warbirds parade at Fort Collins-Loveland or meet with first time flyers like Michelle or my upcoming "Flying into the Future" project (more to come). We are all just a fleeting moment in time, enjoy it while you can!