Paper Airplanes and Mild Embarrassment

Photo by Sebastián León Prado on Unsplash

I am currently reading the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. A guided encounter with your own creativity. It is life-changing. One of the assignments is to have weekly Artist’s Dates with your inner artist. So, a few weeks back my inner artist and I decided to make things out of paper. Ninja stars. A huge paper airplane. I have one of those large rolls of paper from Ikea (five bucks — I highly recommend for crafty drawing and writing). I wondered what such a large paper airplane would feel like to make and to throw.

It was remarkably satisfying to make and less satisfying to throw in my small studio apartment. So, I hung onto it in my closet for several weeks waiting for the right moment to try it in a better setting, or to mess with my housemate. No adult I know ever expects a paper airplane to come flying into their workspace.

Today is a gorgeous sunny day and it seemed like time. So, I went and retrieved the gargantuan airplane from my closet and decided to let it fly off the back porch. I contemplated using a rubber band to fully launch it, but decided on a more natural flight.

As I let it fly from my fingers, it arched satisfyingly through the air and then took a completely unscheduled turn in its flight and soared beautifully over the neighbor’s fence and gracefully landed on their perfectly manicured lawn.

How this possibility did not occur to me at all before the planned flight is beyond me, but it did not.

I almost instantly felt like a ten year old who might be in the slightest amount of trouble. And mildly embarrassed that the thing I had lost over the neighbor’s fence was a two foot long paper airplane. Mostly feeling like a ten year old who had been “caught” doing something playful felt great.

Unlike my ten year old, non-pandemic self, my forty year old co-vid self texted the neighbor to let them know, somewhat sheepishly, that I had deposited a paper airplane in their backyard.

Not long after, the husband emerged from the side door, setting the dog beside me to barking protectively. He genially retrieved my airplane, and to my delight, flew it back at me from his porch. Saying he would return it to me so I could continue with my mischief. It made it just barely in the gap between the trees and the house and landed smoothly next to the hot tub.

I wonder when the last time he threw a paper airplane was. It makes me smile thinking that my mischief opened a door for another adult to throw a ridiculously over-sized paper airplane today.

I am also highly amused at how little it takes to feel the playful energy of a kid. The wind is fairly active today. This is the kind of weather I would have made the soaring kind of airplanes and tried to see how long I could keep them in the air. I wonder if I remember how to make that kind….

I recommend taking a few minutes and making a paper airplane today. Just to make yourself (and whomever you throw it at) smile.

Serial Entrepreneur. Master fire builder. Expert axe-wielder. Lover of words, pictures, and great big ideas that require both to be expressed well.