Folio - Salt Lake Community College Art and Litereature Magazine

Touched the Face of God

Brandon Pedler

I sit there, unmoving, for what seems like an eternity. A dashed line stretches out before me, painted on dark asphalt baking in the heat of the day. It is a serene, almost perfect moment, where all cares in the world seem to slip away from my busy mind, and I focus on my task ahead.

Finally, the time comes. I push forward on a control, and twin beasts roar to life. I move forward, albeit slowly at first, until I overcome my inertia and acceleration takes hold. I laugh at Sir Isaac Newton. If he could only see what I am doing a few hundred years after he made his so-called “laws.”

Then, gently, the next moment of perfection comes. Another motion, as I pull back with my arms. I start to fall backwards, but something prevents me from hitting the ground. I leave the earth with a slight caress, a parting lover’s touch, and then I am above it all.

I ascend rapidly, the people and cars and cares of the world becoming increasingly small and unimportant. I have left all that behind. I am beyond the reach of man and his busy little world.

I set a course, fly myself higher and faster than I ever thought possible. I watch the birds scatter before me. Even these creatures know that I am the master of their skies. While they fight incessantly among themselves, I am like a god passing by, paying only the smallest heed to these near insignificant creatures.

This is what I live for, to become the master of my own fate. Here, no one can touch what I have become or deny me the freedom to go where I want to go or do what I wish to do. I feel as if the craft around me is an extension of my very will and desire.

I know that it is not on my own that I have arrived here. I am standing on the shoulders of proverbial giants. Great men that came before me and my time. They made this possible, and in the still-humble corner of my heart, I thank them. But this is my time, my moment, and I am the master of my fate.

I continue to climb, my wings snatching at the increasingly thinner air as I ascend. In front of me are puffy, happy little clouds. I wheel and dodge between them, occasionally allowing one of my wingtips to graze one. I watch as the air currents from my passage deform the white substance from its former state. I almost feel like an artist.

As time passes, I settle into a near state of reverence. Apart from the engines, which are like the sound of a distant crowd, things are silent. The radio does not talk, and God is my only companion. I reflect on the words of another aviator, long since passed away:

“Up, up the long delirious burning blue, I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace, where never lark, or even eagle flew: and, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod, the high untrespassed sanctity of space, put out my hand, and touched the face of God.”

Featured in Print Edition