And...after some careful observation, I now know how to make paper airplanes! There is such a wonderful beauty to the art of paper folding and origami- the lightness, transience, simplicity and perfection. I learned how to make paper boats a couple years ago when I was babysitting at a neighbor's house. Then I made one out of a Japanese rice paper and a sewing machine. Then I made a paper kite out of branches and paint and thread, and my dad found a shedded snakeskin which I sewed onto the bottom, and it became a tail. But my cat destroyed the tail. I guess she thought it was a toy.
The study of flight has always been so fascinating to me. I have this memory of being in early elementary school, maybe 1st or 2nd grade, and seeing a presentation on Leonardo Da Vinci. What stuck with me was a story about an invention involving bat wings. Perhaps he used them only to study the structure, but in my imagination he actually used real bat wings to make new wings.
I once made wings out of huge Mullen leaves and duct tape. As you can imagine, they didn't work so well. I also collected feathers- I had an eye for seeing them- everywhere. Sometimes I would run around holding them and feel the elevation of air beneath them and the sensation of floating with my feet still on the ground.