Pilot Dreams

We’ve all had our COVID-19 hobbies, right? Perhaps it is a little mid-life crisis-y, but I have distinct memories of watching a documentary of about ultralight airplanes when I was a kid. I thought that they were fascinating machines that were simple and minimalist enough to have a bit of purity, but powerful enough to provide people with superpowers. It was something that I thought that I would do one day.

And, lest I sound like I am pining for a life of missed opportunities, I have flown dozens, even hundreds, of times. I’ve crossed the earth to distant counties and explored mountains and eaten exotic foods. I even had my motorcycle phase and felt the wind against my face as I whipped down curving mountain roads. But I always liked the idea of being a pilot and having the control of a machine that would allow me to soar into the sky and look down on the landscape below. I liked that idea of being able to fly up above it all and look down with a different perspective and set of eyes that could see things differently.

It was actually my wife, who perhaps accidentally, got me thinking about drones. I had been searching for a while to find something new to learn–something unrelated to the stresses of work, a hobby that was possible in the strange socially distance COVID-19 world that we live in, something that would just be fun. At the same time, I was accompanying her, a successful photographer, on the occasional photoshoot. By watching her, I learned to appreciate the artistry of photographer as I watched her arrange and frame shots of her subjects. I began to think, with interest, about what it would be like to see things from a different angle, like from over the water or from high above. Spending time with her is fun. Learning new things is fulfilling. Artistic expression is gratifying.*

Also, I love toys. Did I mention that I love toys? It was definitely time to become a drone pilot.

*Quick note that I am a “journey is the destination” when it comes to any form of art as I harbor no illusions related to my artistic ability. I enjoy the process, regardless of the result.

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