Saving Hearts From The Ceiling – Opening the doors to flight
by Ron Clinton Smith
Twenty years ago my brother and I were flying a small plane over Lake Lanier on Mother’s Day when we cruised past a silver and blue inflatable heart rising from thousands of feet below.
There was something mystical about that shining anonymous voice of someone’s affection rocking and winding its way past us toward the sun. It was for someone’s mother, and became all mothers to me as I craned around to watch its silhouette lifting against the clouds, spinning and dancing into the sunset. It was plastic and helium, man-made, but someone’s spirit and heart sent it into the heavens like a prayer, or maybe it was a literal prayer.
The other day I was throwing a bag of trash into a dumpster behind the gym where I play basketball and found four inflatable blue and white hearts like that tied together with white ribbon, bumping the ceiling of the container, wanting to get out and fly. To me it was like finding a trapped animal. For me there was a spirit there, or four of them, I don’t know whose. I felt like a rescuer, a good Samaritan as I pulled them out, tested their buoyancy and set them free into the wind carrying them sideways, then spiraling up together swinging and rocking over the trees. I was like a little kid watching them rise up over the highway, wagging and turning like they were glancing back at me, thanking me for setting them free.
It made me think again of the spirits they correspond to, and how many spirits are bound to this earth waiting to fly, their heads bumping against some kind of ceiling.
Life itself knows it is meant to reach up like a plant shoot breaking through the soil. We are all born as buoyant beings with the potential for flight, ethereal light with the innate thirst for great things, even if that is only some small and humble enterprise we’ve chosen.
For many of us the answers are simple and sweet, most of our lives anyway. But there are billions of us out there, and many are oppressed by countless oppressors, from governments who don’t allow free expression to fathers or husbands who are abusive, to those in some literal kind of bondage, to being plagued by mysterious illnesses and infirmities. Freedom of the spirit is the greatest blessing and what we truly strive for, not being held down and prevented from living fully and blissfully in our time.
I know this sounds trite and a bit like those late night ads showing starving children or abandoned dogs, but each of us has the chance in our lives to help someone out of their trap, to open a door, if only a mental one, to release their spirit bumping its head against some real or imagined ceiling and let it soar into the sun.
Sometimes it’s just a word of encouragement at the right time, or sharing our wisdom when someone’s in distress. They are groping blindly for that door, the key, and a moment of insight, that patch of light that can change their lives. We all know someone or many who don’t know the combination to the lock or where the window is to break free and slip out into the wind and fly. And many of us can see the path to freedom for others while we struggle to find our own. But the best way to find our own path is to help someone else find theirs.
There is a perfect accounting system in the universe. All of the truth we give to others and the spiritual and mental and physical doors we open for them will release our own locks inside us, let in light we are looking for to guide us through our own mazes out into limitless flight.
We are all filaments of the same Light and when we help someone solve their puzzles we solve our own.
Ron Clinton Smith is a film actor and writer of stories, songs, poetry, screenplays, and the novel Creature Storms.