on my first flight

I smiled, an absurdly enormous grin more appropriate for a giddy child than a 23-year-old grad student, the physical acceleration, anxiety, and humbleness mixing perfectly to achieve a remarkable sensation: prideful exhilaration. It may sound remarkably dramatic, inappropriate, unbelievably silly and all the rest (but I no longer care about such attitudes towards moments of realization). I cried, literally shedding tears at the moment of take off--not many, but enough to matter--letting the physical/emotional power of the engines move me as they moved the plane, as they moved my fellow passengers--and in equally powerful ways. The other passengers didn't notice--I assume--my emotion or the fact that they were being propelled through the air in an aluminum, man made bird. From one lens, their unacknowledgment seems sad, but looking again, it may not be so. It may be more so a testament to man's domination of the sky, his boastful taunting of the laws of nature that denied him the natural ability of flight. Just as we no longer think twice about obtaining food from the store or water from our sink, the engineers/masters of aviation have given us flight at our request, conquered it, made da Vinci's dreams reality, and provided us the opportunity, even, to surpass the birds, to look down on them and pity their lack of ambition.

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