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High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept 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.

--- John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

This poem is often read at the funerals of pilots; I know this because I first heard it when a family friend and former Top Gun died.

Given the role he was best known for, Superman, it seemed appropriate to post at Reeve's passing. However, for so many people, his real heroism began after the equestrian accident in 1995 that left him paralyzed.

He took some pretty big lemons, and made lemonade. Out of his suffering, he became a passionate advocate for research, including founding the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation.

From screen hero to real life hero. May his spirit fly free and unfettered.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 11th, 2004 05:12 pm (UTC)
I've already said my thoughts on Reeve's passing, but that poem is incredibly appropriate.
Oct. 11th, 2004 07:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you, sweetie. I found it so, and hoped that others would as well, which is why I chose to use it. It always chokes me up, and thinking of him slipping the bonds of his wheelchair to go beyond, well, it really does make me think he's gone to a better place.
Oct. 12th, 2004 10:38 am (UTC)
I feel like a bad person for not feeling any palpable sense of grief about the passing of Christopher Reeve, though I do feel bad for his family and was shocked by the sudden nature in which he died. That said, I must respect how he chose to react when faced with the circumstances fate dealt him.

In reaction to your comments above, this comic seems especially appropriate: http://www.pvponline.com/images/news/tribute.gif
Oct. 12th, 2004 05:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks for linking that - I hadn't seen it.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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