It’s as though Filey Bay with its east-facing rifts and cliffs were visible;
as though the full-bodied gusts that blow over it, freighted with lift, sea thermals and the bloated bodies of over-ripe chimps, were thermals, sideways tracking and printed with spirals that mark a slow convergence of warm and nutrient-rich, cold air.
What rides this marriage of elements
does so with a paragliding wingspan
hammered from great distances,
its leading edge containing worn emblems and fading lines, such as might be found within the pages of a flight log from a time when travel was slow, when destinations involved a leaving of land based friends and tidal lines while crossing of Bay of Filey.
Soaring and gliding are this flying chimps only reasons, in all type of weathers and seasons cold, for flight. Reighton in from the south, it angles away and down, almost wetting the tip of his leeward wing before braking alternative, for upswell of Ian's wing, missing the cliff and sampling his own reflection, where he brays a holler, from missing Micks tree, so this long-range survivor.
And when, after days of gliding, its Ians bones take on the ache of flying high above sea, Ian will follow a fellow wing, inspecting it for a fellow chimp pilot, a friend or foe, for anything upon which to follow.
To find a paragliding mate, the female paragliders gather on barren Speeton cliffs surrounded by suitors, each one expectant and competitive in the sleek, highly coloured wings of their kind.
Flying chimps having found each other, they remain at the centre of flying weather cycles, expecting to fly, remain in company and lack separation for up to eighty years (Eighty YEARS!), despite some absences, despite their differences.
See them coming in – multicoloured gliders with harness gear and boots that paddle for purchase on the stones of slippery landings and wet beaches where their paragliding friends are waiting, alike
and yet unique, their singular wants and call to flying, dividing a raucous field with welcome.
One paragliding want. One life, together. And for every chimp that crashes and breaks under terrible weather, a fledgling pilot will emerge to test his wings and stand its ground after 2 long weeks training, and then leave the paragliding school to circle the globe, solitary in its preparations for flight, #Ianthechimps flying in thermic air made manifest in his I love to fly chimp brain.