The acclaimed author of Fire in the Belly presents an exhilarating memoir of his late-blooming love affair with the flying trapeze--and a provocative look at the potential it offers for growth, transformation, and overcoming deeply rooted fears.
An unprecedented adventure of the soul and psyche, Learning to Fly teaches us to soar on the wings of possibility as we watch Sam Keen and his students progress through breathtaking exercises on the trapeze which they use as a vehicle for exploring the challenges and dilemmas of life. As he describes takeoffs, knee hangs, and thrilling midair catches, Keen imparts moving revelations about risk-taking, trust, bravado, living more passionately, true strength, falling, and letting go. Guiding us on a remarkable inner journey through the "circus of the mind," Learning to Fly reveals the grace of ascending in body and spirit--and living with levity.
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For as far back as he could remember, Sam Keen had dreamed of flying. And so just before his 62nd birthday, Keen enrolled in a trapeze class at the San Francisco School of Circus Arts, thus becoming "the oldest student at the circus." In this richly written memoir, Keen uses the details of trapeze training to frame his spiritual understanding of the world. Not surprisingly, the flight metaphors work--giving room for chapters titled "Leap of Faith," "A Fledgling Among the Eagles," and "On the Wings of Spirit."
As a graduate of Harvard Divinity School, Keen is a fine memoirist--able to step outside himself to tell a good story and willing to share his humiliations and inner fears as he became a student of flight. "My failures have taught me there is always a second chance.... Failing gives fallible human beings a chance to start over. And that is why every man, woman, and society needs a safety net." He now leads an "Upward Bound" trapeze program for abused women, drug addicts, and inner-city school children. --Gail HudsonFrom the Back Cover:
"A wonderful account of five very good years of spiritual adventure, and of growing mastery in fashioning life as something of beauty, risk, and promise."
-- Napra Review
"Gracefully written . . . Keen delivers unobtrusive lessons in the arts of fear, strength, and trust as natural corollaries of a real and vividly described experience. Charming and worthy."
-- Library Journal
"[Keen uses] flying trapeze as a channel for enlightenment."
-- New York Times
"Keen is a true wordsmith. His book is a rare opportunity to be privy to the inner world of someone who's a master in one realm but a neophyte in another. As Keen grapples to achieve flight--in all senses--the reader becomes enriched, heartened and elated with his every word."
-- Vegetarian Times
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Book Description Harmony, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110767901770