Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Our mission – a year later

It’s the traditional time of year to look back and reflect—and we zero-G dancers are nothing if not traditional. So I’ve just finished rereading our earliest blog entries about last year’s zero-g ride on December 30th, 2007.

The entry I wrote a week later on January 6, 2007 says it best, marrying the past with the present. I’m as committed today as I was then, following our first zero-g research ride. The thrill of that gift will remain with me for lifetimes. And I have Dr. Peter Diamandis and Zero G Corp to thank for their visionary generosity in giving me and the Stardance team that extraordinary gift.

As I’ve said before, being free of falling is an unforgettable experience. For a fleeting eternity, you feel bathed in a delicious, unspeakable delight. It’s a universally familiar experience the first time it ever happens to you; one whose memory lingers. Odd, really, when you consider that not one of my evolutionary ancestors was ever in zero-G for longer than it took them to fall off a roof. (Or maybe I’m just not going far enough back into my ancestry. Spider may be right: we may all be descended from stardwellers.)

Last year on the day of our flight my Zen Calendar offered a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: "The days come and go like muffled and veiled figures sent from a distant party, but they say nothing, and if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them as silently away."

I said it then and I’ll say it now: be assured that I won't be silent about the gifts I've been given, and they are being fully used.

The Stardance team continues on its mission of discovery to expand the vocabulary of human feeling by presenting us with something we've never experienced before. Last year's zero-g ride was a breathtakingly weightless step toward the realization of our mission.

And the year just past has been a period of long, slow reentry, which as you know is a process of building energy that only starts to seem really exciting to an observer right at the end. Jim and I are now at that stage Spider calls the most paradoxical part of writing, where we are busting our chops so hard that to a hypothetical outsider it looks as though we’re both just staring into space, doing nothing at all. Things will continue like that, Spider says, for a hundred million billion years…and then we’ll suddenly look up and realize we’re holding a completed screenplay (our third) in our hands, ready for the cameras. And meanwhile we continue to beat the bushes for our angel: the funding source who can greenlight us to make the film. Exciting, satisfying times, for Jim and I both.

(There’s an added layer of meaning for me. I’ve spent a lot of time recently trying to establish telepathic communication with my first grandchild—who is, at this moment, in free fall, being a zero-G dancer…in my daughter’s womb. But more on that after I’ve seen the kid, sometime in May.)

Today, right now, Jim and I just want to honor and thank all of you who have joined the Stardance mission of discovery. We could not have come this far without you—and we’ll continue thanks to you. We’re creating a new artform together: what could be cooler than that?

That is after all (somebody once said) what it is to be human: to persist.

Happy New Year!