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.
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