Last night, as I walked under the twinkling Christmas lights of Larimer Square, I was reminded that kindness abounds. As I walked with a friend by the John Atencio jewelry store, I gasped in excitement as I remembered a piece of John’s artwork that I fell head over heels in love with a few months back. We walked into the store, filled with glittering diamonds and warm lighting, and looked around at the framed art. I asked the shop clerk if the print with the “planes and the woman’s eye” was anywhere in the store. He said they did not have a framed version in the store, just the reference thumbnail view on the counter. I flipped right to “Mind’s Eye” and starred adoringly at the image that I so strongly associated with at first glance. The clerk disappeared into a back room and when he returned, he handed me an autographed 5×7 matted print of the piece I loved!
I responded, “what do you mean, can I buy it?” He shook his head and said, “No, it’s for you”.
After one more argument to pay for this perfect print, a huge, grateful smile spread across my face as I continued to stare at this image… I looked up (with airplanes practically flying off my own giant black eyelashes) and said “thank you”.
Sometimes the most beautiful moments happen when you least expect them. As I walked to my apartment door, print in hand, I flipped it over. To my surprise, there was an extensive description of the “Art of Flight” series! How serendipitously perfect… this description embodies how aviation makes me feel each time I push the throttle forward and soar into the sky. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
The “Art” of Flight
“Initially this art appears to be simply about planes. A noun or object. A compilation of metal parts designed for flight. However, it’s an analogy for becoming self. It’s a mix of learning who we are, where we’re going, and what makes us an individual. This art isn’t about a plane or travelling from point A to point B, but a symbol of the flight; the experiences that allow us to take off and become our unique selves.
My flight was fueled by the experience I took on a Russian/Chinese fighter MIG jet in 2005. I had my wings and I was ready to take them around the world. A year later I was on a solo trip around the world where I officially earned them. Flight is about where you are going and what happens along the way. It’s about the miles and the milestones. There are good flights and bad ones. Jumbo jets and wide bodies. Puddle jumpers and jump seats. Is there a view? Where’s the exit? Are there hundreds of seats or just a few to choose from?
Flights are not simple. They are complex and involved. Taking in the experiences from other passengers and other cultures can allow us to mold ourselves. My flights are art in motion with complicated itineraries. Maybe my flights can help you”
John Atencio, Mind’s Eye