When I think of leaping – I’m speaking metaphorically here – the literal image that comes to mind is standing several feet back from the precipice of the Cliffs of Moher. It’s a sweeping abyss so sublime that it warps any authentic sense of perspective. Nothing seems far for everything being so grand. I was re-calibrated only by seeing the gulls flashing along the stratified face, jerkily adjusting course like airborne seesaws to solve the wind’s puzzles. Diminished to the size of ants.
What I was good at was crouching down as I approached the unbounded edge until I was on my hands and knees, peering gingerly over the vertical corner. Not that running at full speed until there was no ground under my feet – literally – was ever my desire. But the limitation holds metaphorically. Momentum, momentum, momentum…crouch! In that split-second space before braking: “How many people don’t actually fly? And when they don’t what happens? To what degree are conviction and faith of that sort cultural myths? Are we just hearing from those who have taken off, while those who end up bloodied and disembodied lie in a silent pile at the bottom?”
In truth, I am likely far better at inspiring people to leap – literally and metaphorically – than doing it myself. I enjoy that about teaching. I consider it my job. But in truth I am also a hypocrite. For crouching. And waiting.