Anyone who has read my collection of flash fiction, Caffeine for the Soul, knows I’m licensed to pilot a single-engine aircraft. What most of you might not know is that I dislike commercial flying. A lot. Ironic, right? But there is a reason.
On a flight nearly two decades ago, the plane I was traveling on encountered some unexpected turbulence that flight attendants lightheartedly mention in their pre-flight briefing. The downdraft we encountered on our approach into Atlanta created a period of weightlessness in the cabin that caused those same flight attendants (and a few passengers) to float to the ceiling, literally. It was a moment of terrifying chaos and still causes my muscles to tense when a plane I travel on today starts to experience unsteady bumps through the air. What does this have to do with what I’m watching this month?
On a recent return flight from California, I decided that trying something different other than staring out my window for the duration of a long flight might be a good way to diffuse anxiety. Enter the in-flight entertainment system and Colette.
While the movie admittedly contains sensitive topics dealing with sexuality, the crux of the movie focuses on the true story of a female French author around the turn of the 20th century. Coerced into beliefs and actions against her soul’s desire, Colette’s courageous actions over the course of the story allow her to break free from binding chains in many forms and claim the life she imagined.
It was serendipity at its best as I continue to navigate down my own authorial path, but there was something more to it. Deciding to watch this movie on that flight, I faced my anxiety associated with flying head-on, breaking at least one small link in that chain of fear associated with it. Small steps lead to bigger things over time.
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