Can’t I just stand here on the precipice? Linger wayward a moment more. Must I go through?
Decisions have to be made. No one is spared. You must choose if you are in or out.
Yes, but if I don’t?
You never live. Life takes courage, a leap into the vast unknowable. Claim the sky.
Lael spread her enormous gossamer wings toward the sun. Suspended weightless in the golden light, her breath held she stepped through the threshold and fell.
Michael gathered her clipped wings and gently placed them in her locker for safe keeping.
Another safely from the nest.
Visit Friday Fictioneers and our glorious host Rochelle for the details and then dive into the flash fiction fun. Also make sure to read the others.
I loved the first half. It felt like such a lesson for us all – humans as well as angels – to take the leap and truly live. I got a bit confused at the end, because “clipped wings” suggested something that he’d done to hold her back, but then you said she’d safely flown the nest. I have read your responses to other comments, so I think I get it now. Perhaps clipped is just a bit too laden, and you could find another way of describing the way she flew safely but left her wings behind?
Dana, A lovely story and tribute to Maya Angelou. Thank you for explaining the meaning as that made it more enjoyable. Well done. 🙂 —Susan
I Know Why The Cage Bird sings…Tears in my eyes….Every time…Thank you for this lovely tribute.
Wonderful writing and beautifully done! Thanks, Nan 🙂
A lovey nod to Maya Angelou, her work is so inspiring, she will be sadly missed. Well written, sad but thought provoking. If only we all could ‘claim our sky’
That was rather a charming tale – the clipped wings and the flight from the nest was a nice touch, bringing the gorgeous prose down to earth.
Perhaps we are caged birds walking the earth. And through living and learning we reclaim the sky and are truly free. At least I like to think so. Maya’s gorgeous prose was here on earth for a time.
The first half was extremely beautiful. I got a bit lost, perhaps oxygen deprivation from flying too high with your first paragraphs, when the conclusion left me wondering what had happened. A little bird told me this is a tribute to Maya Angelou and her work. I will do my due diligence and see. Well done if this is so. Doesn’t matter if my pea brain didn’t catch it. I’ve not read anything by Ms. Angelou. Must remedy that, i think.
It was a tribute to Maya Angelou who referred to herself as a “blessing”. She thought we all are, each unique in our own way with something to offer this world. The only direct reference was to I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings-in that a “free bird….. claims the sky”. This was intended as an allegory about life- our time here, lessons learned, struggles, and the risks that must be taken. She said we are born from the darkness and move towards the light. . So I envisioned a new soul (angel) standing at the precipice trying to decide. Then dropping her wings and free falling to earth to be reborn and begin the long arduous task of reclaiming the Sky, a free bird once more. As I have no doubt Maya has.
I love that it was a tribute to Maya Angelou. However I was confused between enormous wings and then in the next sentence clipped wings. I see by the comments I really need to read Miss Angelou’s work. I’m woefully ignorant of much of it.
This was intended as an allegory about life and the risks that must be taken. The direct reference to Maya Angelou comes from I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings in that a “free bird….. claims the sky”. Her autobiography was structured in three parts, like life I think- Arrival, Sojourn, and Departure. As Maya passed I reflected on our time here, lessons learned, struggles in life. I imagined a soul upon entry, standing at the precipice. Maya referred to herself as a “blessing”. We are born from the darkness and move towards the light. I see this as a metaphor for the arrival, the sojourn and the departure. So I envisioned a new soul dropping her wings and free falling to earth to be reborn and begin the long arduous task of reclaiming the Sky, a free bird. Maya no doubt has gotten her wings back.
There’s much to be said for claiming joy in danger. Many equate freedom with a life “free” from risk but to do so is to settle for a flacid form of joy, one either devoid of emotion or, at best, vicarious. Perhaps it is poor counsel to court death…perhaps…
RED…is there such a thing as a life devoid of risk? I have danced with death. He stepped on my toes. I really thought he’d be better at the tango. 😉
Nailed it in one, Dana. I courted death, often, and I watched my Queen do everything to avoid it and yet for all her care and attendance it was she whom death pursued. These days I’m inclined to think that life is simply proof of avoiding death…hard to convey tone, but I don’t mean that to sound as macabre as it reads.
Ha that is interesting. Now I envision like a cat. They are always wrapping around the legs of the people that don’t like them. But you know I like macabre. I just found out my life expectancy is now 49. Suddenly my two five years marriages seem more then simply blips in the span of a life. 🙂 Oh and then there is my dark sense of humor.
Aah yes, that sense of humour which so distinguishes between those who have stared death full in the face and shooed him away and those who act like he is no more than a myth they will not have to confront until they are finished with their lives and in their own time at their own choosing. He has played his hand and we are fooled no more and now live in spite of him. Here’s to 49 and beyond then, Darl.
Yes indeed. 🙂
A lovely allegory of life and the risks that must be taken. Like other commenters, I enjoyed the tribute to Maya Angelou and the caged bird. I imagine that Michael has already reattached her perfect wings.
Perhaps. Depends on whether she has completed her cycle on earth and returned to the fold. 🙂 Thanks Jan
Really what I meant to say is Yes, Yes, YES Michael has no doubt reattached her wings. 🙂
That’s a lovely story. So hard to ‘claim the sky’.
I don’t follow the Maya Angelou references – does it refer to one of her works?
It is so hard to claim the sky. This is a reference to Maya’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. A “free bird….claims the sky”. It was intended as an allegory about life- our time here, lessons learned, struggles, and the risks that must be taken. Also as tribute to a woman who called herself a “blessing” as she would say we all are. Thanks Patrick
I really enjoyed the voice in this one, Dana. The nod to Maya Angelou is especially beautiful. She was a huge inspiration in my life; and be hugely missed.
She will be missed though I suspect her presence lingering. I had to give her a nod and so it seems did you. I am off to read. 🙂
I was so happy to see your story honored her as well. Such a remarkable woman!
I really enjoyed the voice in this one, Dana. The nod to Maya Angelou is especially beautiful. She was a huge inspiration in my life; she will be hugely missed.
This was just beautiful.
Thank W_O_P! BTW I like that idea of being on pause.
Evocative and empowering. If only we all had a Michael to say the right words…
Greetings from Greece!
Maria (MM Jaye)
I think we do all have a MIchael but that sometimes we forget to listen to his voice. Thanks MM Jaye
“Claim the sky”…love that. Wonderful vision of the prompt.
I added those words as elegy to Maya Angelou. It comes from the first stanza of her poem I Know Why The Cage Bird sings. “A free bird leaps……..and dares to claim the sky.” You have good taste Sorchia.