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Life in the Sky @ Danyang

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April 2012

(indecipherable Korean)

“WHAT?”

I was suspended in a harness half a mile in the sky while my paragliding operator was shouting stuff at me in Korean. We swooshed left and right in big arcs, cutting through the air in huge figure 8s. We were still hovering close to our take-off point; I could make out the onlookers and the occasional silhouette of our chute darting along the face of the mountain. Funny, I thought, this sensation didn’t have quite the thrill or rush I was anticipating. Hovering there high above the mountains with nothing but a few straps connecting me to my operator, I felt quite safe.

The wind blared incessantly in my ears and the occasional sharp sway of the chute caused a rather unpleasant grinding of the harness against my crotch. All my senses told me I was moving, but why did it feel like I was staying still? I stuck my feet out… I looked down… anything to make me realize the danger of where I was, and what I was doing.

I suppose that my life has become an ongoing validation of progression. As a kid life had progressed so rapidly, and there was always a significant change or milestone waiting around the corner. As the years tick by the frequency of experiences appear to slow, and life beings to stagnate in its comfortableness. Progress becomes plateau, and denial of it eventually leads to desperation. Maybe that’s why I can never stay still. Maybe it’s the reason I have to change cities, if not countries, every two years. Maybe it’s why I decided to spend my 30th birthday in the sky instead of on the ground, looking for validation in the clouds.

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