Monday Musings….Dialogue with the Door – All Hail The Caped Crusaders
I think every single one of us has wanted to fly like a bird. The beauty of being a child is that imagination is at its peak. Most of us can remember standing on the back of the couch and jumping, spread eagle, and pretending we were flying even if it was just for a second.
Since a great bulk of my childhood was spent outside, in every season, I have vivid memories of wanting to fly. And especially of wanting to be a superhero! This was my question of the week back in March of this year. Which superhero would you choose to be, if you could be one in real life?!
Superman is an obvious choice for many– can you imagine having his strength, intelligence, extraordinary vision, self-healing properties, great hair, and of course his ability to “leap tall buildings in a single bound”? He was the originator of parkour, for sure! Most of us have made feeble attempts to leap - from roof tops, snow banks, trees, and the lowly couch. I can remember taking a pillow case from the clothes line, using the clothes pin to secure it around my neck, and taking off to the forest. With that cape, I felt invincible! Feeling it flap behind me as I ran with intense speed down the trails gave me the inner strength and endurance I needed for that day. I’d return in decent time, to replace the pillow case on the line, but I guess my mother had x-ray vision herself and all my superhuman strength would drain from my veins as I faced the reality of punishment. Oh, how I lived for those moments of flying like the wind, and still do.
Many would really like to be Spiderman, though I’m not sure how many of us are willing to succumb to a bite to be infused with such power. But you have to admit that swinging by a spider web and travelling through the air is infinitely cool. The power of that web to entangle and trap the bad guy is an amazing superpower to have. When I was a kid, I too thought I had these powers to snare unsuspecting villains. The web came in the form of a skipping rope – a really long one that was used for double-dutch. I had an idea to lay it across my street, and when a car came by, I’d see if I could trap it. I enticed my friends to help me out and execute this plan. Two of us lay in the ditch on one side of the street, and the other two crouched in the ditch on the opposite side. We waited, in stealth mode, until a car approached. Sure enough, one came barrelling down the road at the tremendous speed of 30 km an hour, which seemed super-fast to a kid. We lifted the rope on the count of three and …well, I leave it to your imagination as to how that ended. Let’s just say while my friends may have let go of the rope, I did not. That was a whole different kind of flying!
Batman is also a favourite for a lot of people. He is an interesting choice because he does not have the DNA of Superman, nor the acquired power of Spiderman, instead his power is embedded in his intelligence, observational skills, and the tools of science and technology. It’s his inventive mind that truly is appealing. He is a threat to the criminal world because of his physical prowess, sharp intellect, and fearless approach. You may remember that his butler, Alfred Pennyworth, raised him after the death of his parents when he was quite young. Bruce Wayne was a classic introvert, requiring few friends, and spending his days, and most importantly nights, training his body and mind for perfection. The choice of his bat costume lay in his deliberation to overcome his childhood phobia, but perhaps also to embrace that common desire, like the rest of us, to fly. He is such an excellent case study. His goal, to be a nighttime vigilante to get the bad guys off the streets makes him a top choice. The slew of villains he successfully took down is impressive, but what is more remarkable is his partnership with other superheroes. His collegiality makes him a desired leader worthy of being admired and followed. And the fact that he adopts Dick Grayson (aka Robin) shows us a heart that we have not seen in the other superheroes that preceded or followed him. And so that outer strength is matched with an emotional stability that makes us all secretly wish we too could be worthy of having a bat signal beckoning us to our call of duty in our neck of the woods.
While I was recently cleaning out my 'bat cave', I came across my high school yearbooks – always a good time to look back and read from the pages of your own history in your neck of the woods. One guy, who worked on student council with me, wrote: “Tell me this: when will you ever stop working…at everything? This year has been a trying one for many of us. Any success that occurred this year, I can only attribute to your relentless efforts and constant labouring. You must possess some extreme motivation and it will certainly help you get what you want in this life. You have made me understand myself a little more clearly at times and I appreciate your advice and listening ears. Keep striving for and expecting the most from life and eventually you’ll get there.” Well, Raymond L., I’m still working 3 decades later! I’m not a Superhero, but I think you captured the essence of Superman, Spiderman, and Batman, and of so many that I know believe the same things – it’s listening for the call, going fearlessly with strength and speed to the rescue, and pursuing the cause relentlessly.
Well, it's Monday and I don’t know about you, but that couch is beckoning me to get on the back of it, spread my arms, and….fly!
This week’s song needs to be Superman by Five For Fighting. It’s one I have had on my playlist for some time. Even heroes have the right to dream….