Late Night Thoughts on Flying and Writing

I stopped writing on this blog because it was made crashingly clear to me that not only was it a public forum, but that some people regarded it as non-fiction. I was appalled at first, indignant that a writing exercise could be read as an unbiased view of events. I wrote here to satisfy an inner drive to organise strong feelings and a desire to broaden the mental playground I share with my brother. The blog was not a news service, nor a window into my soul, at least not to the literally minded. The allegorically minded could perhaps deduce something of my inner workings, but I am secure enough that the few folks with that sort of acumen are unlikely to waste it considering my drivel. The few people who know me well, my family and even prime number of friends, could perhaps see some truth in the writing, but only because of long context. Before I write again in this forum in a public way I will post a disclaimer that the contents of my post are even less truthful than a memoir and should not be held against me nor used as reason for punitive action from either the government or industry.

I write because there are things I want to see written. I am the fifth most capable manipulator of the language in a family of five, yet I feel the words I write may convey things no one else can adequately transmit. I liked writing in this blog because it was an opportunity to see how my prose played against my brother’s – a pedantic stolidity serving as a foil for an emotional, lighthearted, flash. It was entertaining to me and therefore worth doing. I regret that the technology did not allow our familial passengers to chime in with their own styles – the crystalline, perfectly formed assurance of my sister, the elusive and mercurial ambit of my mother, and the elliptical, yet completely satisfying words of my father. That might have been interesting, five writers with different tools hammering away at a subject they knew from completely different perspectives. Colin and I share a view, the fanatical, new pilot, tunnel vision, that would have benefited from bouncing off the newly initiated and yet to be excited.

So, now I wonder whether I am suited to this sort of writing at all. My brother wears a mask so tightly that he does not fear the exposure of his thoughts to the general public, but I am less well defended. Is there a purpose for me in writing in a forum that can be widely read? If the exposure were to the unwashed, unknowing throng I could simply ignore them. It is the prospect of the tangential finding the words here and assuming false insight that bothers me. People I barely know, or am once or twice removed from, allowing my words to shape their view of the connected people. That is a worry. So then, is the solution simple censorship? Skip names, elide thoughts and emotions, provide justifications and dodge around concepts? Perhaps, but I think it would be unsatisfying for me. This is an exercise in entertaining me, and as I try to bend my writing to fit what I believe is wanted I lose my sense of joy. There is however one simple expedient that I will engage in without undue stress…I will no longer use real names unless I feel like it. I have very mixed feelings about my primary flight instructor Dave DeNardo, but it made me feel bad that he read of my distress on this blog. He may have been a bit of a tool and not well suited to teaching someone of my peculiar sensibility, but he does not deserve to find nasty things about him on the web. In the event that I write further here you should not trust names – the truth adds nothing and costs someone something.

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