Learning To Fly

I saw Toby Farmer fly today and it was magical.

No one ever thought that man would one day be able to take flight on his own; especially not someone such as Toby.  Back when we were in school, he was the kid who had his lunch money repeatedly stolen, got body slammed into lockers, and was laughed at simply for being there.  Then one day in grade nine, Toby entered a school art contest.  Not only was his painting good enough to win, it was good enough to make the people who had been tormenting him up until that point walk up and tell him how awesome he was.

Suddenly, the boy paralyzed by fear, self-doubt, and self-loathing was ready to take the next step towards becoming the Toby that he is today.  He kept on painting and started to win small art contests around the region.  When he received a full scholarship to a prestigious art school, well, that’s when he was really off and running.

No one heard from him for awhile after that, but we all thought about him from time to time and said things like, “I wonder what ever happened to Toby Farmer.  He was a weird kid but boy, could he ever paint.”

Our answer came this afternoon when the old high school gang was having coffee at a neighbourhood café and someone opened up the local paper and pointed to a story in the Arts and Entertainment section.  It was a story on Toby and how his work was being featured at the Guggenheim.  There was a picture of him as well.  The look on his face said everything we needed to know: I spread my wings and flew far, far away from my past.  Look where I landed…here,in New York City, right where I belong.

I saw Toby Farmer fly today and it was magical.


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