"boys and girls in cars, dogs and birds on lawns"
On August 10th 2018, Richard Russell stole a plane. I don't believe he should be glorified by the act nor do I consider him a villain.
The entire fiasco has been met with bewilderment.
My friend John Roderick has a lens on the situation that is educated from an aeronautical as well as a mental health purview.
If we can reserve our judgement on destruction of extremely valuable property and the multiple lives Rich endangered, we might be able to see the man who has been laid to rest beneath the trees.
Listening to the air traffic control recordings we hear someone who is in equal parts calm, apologetic, alert to avoid harming others while at times attempting of humor. Certain comments hint that he is aware his stunt went too far.
Richard Russell performed maneuvers in the sunset that no pilot had in the history of flight.... and he's not even a pilot.
As his joy ride nears it's end, our rebel pilot proclaims that he's not quite ready to end the journey. He'll attempt (and accomplish) one more barrel roll then "set the nose down and call it a day".
Listening to his final commentary brought tears to my eyes.... I'm not perfectly sure why, but I heard a man who was on a flight to nowhere discovering the realization that the ride was over.
The Long Winters had a song that pulled at my heart strings: the piano was graceful, the multi-layered drum tracks erratic, the repetitive narrative meaning something different every time. Only years later did it dawn on me that said song was about flight.
I, too, had once written a song about being lost in space.
I always thought of the recording studio as a place to create what could not necessarily be replicated on stage. There is nothing like being in a dark room with headphones on making an instrumental into a narrative. I guess it's kind of like being a pilot of a ship built by one's band mates as they watch on from the control room. I appreciated the gift and I always took on the responsibility with divine privilege.
We live in a time when people seek "likes" as their 15 seconds of fame. The closer we grow in the virtual world, the farther we get from human interaction.
Life can be hard and confusing... and sometimes we just need a friend.
Rich may have forgotten that you don't always need interaction to find salvation. We find it in songs and in books and in the sunset on a Friday evening. Some times when we least expect it, everything does a barrel roll. If we're able to endure the G-Force, we figure out how to get a little bit better.
There are times when we try so hard and nothing adds up. Then a raindrop on our face reminds us we are alive.... the look of a child reminds us of our innocence.
The joy of life exists within the flight path..... not how we take off or where we land.
"... from here I can touch the sun ..."
Don't Forget to Remember,