- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Harmony; Ill edition (May 11, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0767901762
- ISBN-13: 978-0767901765
- Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,002,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Learning to Fly Hardcover – May 11, 1999
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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 Hudson
From Library Journal
Of all the writers and pundits who shaped the immensely influential men's movement of the 1980s, Keen (Fire in the Belly: On Being a Man, Bantam, 1992. reprint) is perhaps the most able. His new work, a gracefully written account of his experience at the trapeze training program of the San Francisco School of Circus Arts, should please his avid readers and perhaps earn him many more; he delivers unobtrusive lessons in the arts of fear, strength, and trust as natural corollaries of a real and vividly described experience. This charming and worthy work should make a fine addition to most collections.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top customer reviews
Keen gently unfolds his ideas of meeting the challenge of life changes and thriving through a gently told memoir of his experience of becoming a flying trapeze artist at the age of 62. The word artist is important here: an artist is one who strives for beauty, although he may not be the most accomplished of his co-strivers. The effort, and the successes that do occur, are enough.
Those who have found themselves dangling at the end of a parachute, kayaking a gorge, learning to run, or learning to surf at midlife or beyond will recognize the drive for efficiency and beauty in ones own bodies' actions.
This lovely metaphor for life has given new context to my own: I don't ask for more.