Oh, the winds! They remind us how much energy this planet can muster, just from rotation, just from unequal heating by our sun. Motion and inequality are forces pushing people, like seeds in the wind, until they stick someplace and grow, or decay, or sink in water, their fate to be settled some other day. I launch my Cessna into the storm, lifting and tossing me like a tuft of poplar cotton. While my legs dance on the rudder pedals to stay upright, I wonder if mastery is even a moral aspiration. The sons of Lindbergh talk about mastery as making the plane, the ship, the horse, the other man or woman do what they want. They see themselves as proud members in an exclusive society, a master race. What am I a member of, I wonder. Am I a colonist, a pioneer, a master of something or someone? Or, am I a seed blown in the wind, planted here by motion and inequality to grow and decay, fed and sheltered by those old paradigms? Instead, can I join with this machine, with its familiar sounds, smells, and touch, to share a consonant journey through space, from which we both return the same or better? Think of all there is to learn when there is no master.
Jessica Cherry, PhD is a scientist, writer, and commercial airplane pilot living in Anchorage and Fairbanks.