I had a friend who died a few years back, he had a degenerative disability. And eventually he lost all ability to care for himself in any way. But he was more than just his disability, he was many things. He was a poet, storyteller, sage, and artist, and activist, and musician. When he passed away, I was left with a startling realization. I had imagined him as being surrounded by tons of friends. He was always talking about them, however on the day of his funeral I found out something peculiar. It was peculiar then, but after years of reflection, I think I finally understand. 80 to 90% of all his friendships existed on the Internet. Finally realize why: free from his body, he had both the ability and the freedom to navigate the digital wilderness, unfettered by preconceived notions, and untethered by physical limitations. He had digital wings and flew on the winds of imagination. And it is to you, my dear friend, that I dedicate this piece.
On digital wings I fly,
untethered by the ignorant minds of others,
forgetting them a person on the inside.
Not constrained by the cage that is my body,
my mind is the light to the world that I will provide.
And if on some days it bathes in darkness,
at least I know the reactions will be true.
Because most times when I’m in this world
like many others I wonder “what must they think of you?”
We have a problem in this world
one that I could not solve
but I leave it to you, performers and audiences.
I trust that you have the strength and resolve
we have a poor tendency to look on the outside and dive in
never considering that appearances deceive
and we might not like what lies within.
So in my digital world of ones and zeros
I am like a pirate poet philosopher king
people will see me for who I am
instead of just this blasted thing, this thing I call a body, or this thing I call a chair
I’m free from the fetters of my physical life
trapped somewhere between the world of the real and the world of the spirit
I cry out to you all free from these things now
what is most important about a person is the trueness of heart
and that we should not regard the outside of others as being a divine work of art
but rather the light that shines from within that beating heart
that is the light that will touch all around it.
This is my lesson to you dear ones,
for now I must go
I have upgraded to a brand-new wings
that allow me to fly low inside your minds
and rise up far
beyond the pale blue skies