Takeaways from Richard Bach’s “Travels With Puff”

Reading Richard Bach’s books always makes me wonder how it really feels to fly an airplane (a SeaRey, in this book), to be airborne, to have the freedom to go places that other more common modes of transportation has never reached yet. I seldom travel, and I am deathly afraid of heights, but I can imagine that it must be a wonderful and rewarding experience, albeit also truly scary. Maybe one day. For now, his stories are life lessons that I keep on going back to, his writings remains a personal treasure.

Some favorite lines from “Travels with Puff: A Gentle Game of Life and Death”:

  • Life starts new, every sunrise.
  • I’ll practice, first-person everyday, my brand of the freedom we’ve all been given, to live as we choose.
  • If I learn who she is, if I learn to fly her well, could we be friends, could we fly not clenched-teeth separate, but could we some day lift into that bright freedom I saw, fly there together, each of us glad for the other?
  • There’s no way to tell bad news from good as it’s happening. We’ll find out which the moment we realize, long-term, it’s all good.
  • All things come to those who know that what we hold in thought is what we shall see in our pretend lifetimes on our cardboard planets.
  • We can never convince anyone to do what way deep down they don’t already want to do.
  • We can change lifetimes whenever we wish, by deciding we’ll be different from who we were before.
  • The skills and abilities we take for granted this minute, some others in the world would burst with joy, to have them for their own. As we would, sometimes to have theirs.
  • Meeting someone we care about, in the air or on the ground, is infinitely complex, yet we go by what feels right to do, moment to moment, and things work out.
  • Following what we most love leads us through tests and challenges, yet something watches over us, something guides and protects along the way.
  • How important they are, human and otherwise, the friends we choose to open our doors and windows!
  • This may be the way, I thought—not seaplanes but shared fears and joys and quality of adventure, which helps people round the world change toward each other from caution to trust.
  • She and I and all, we’re perfect expressions of perfect life, we can neither be harmed nor destroyed, no matter beliefs or appearances. We’re here to share the gifts of our discovery and our lives with those somewhere somewhen who may care for what we find along our way. Nothing in the worlds of illusion can touch or change the truth of our being. We are guided and protected in our dreams by the fact that we’re dreaming, we are led along our flickering path by our highest self, in whatever form it may decide to take.
  • We choose partners to fly with who bring us balance.
  • I knew this would come true in my life, because I planned it, loved it, worked a year for it to happen. One doesn’t need to be psychic to see these things true, long before they happen.
  • Is it true that without a passion for something, doesn’t matter what, something we love to do or to be around or submerge ourselves in, we’re doomed to lives of boredom, we get the leftovers from the ones who love their something? So far as I can tell, that’s so.
  • We’re not given freedom, I thought—we take it, whenever we wish. Take freedom and its promise of delicious success, we take as well freedom’s bright shadow: the chance of spectacular failure.
  • We don’t learn one lesson in all our days. We learn vast numbers of lessons, each a lone pixel. Yet the pixels come together, show our world of appearances not so blind and uncaring as it looks, a stage of shape-shifting seems-to-be on which we undestroyable spirits play in our dramas, pretending we’re mortal. The lessons together: We live, each of us, beyond space and time. Mortality’s a fine drama, and sweeter for remembering who we are, beyond the parts we play.
  • Repair it, or fly on? So often, flying-on’s the choice. Wait for repair, for every detail to be perfect, one may never get off the ground. Might as well take off, and if it has to be fixed, fix it along the way! That advice can get us in a lot of trouble, and it can set us free.
  • It’s the most difficult tests we face, when we pass ‘em, make us happiest.
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