John Kitchin

How Do You Fly?

"For a while, I thought I might be going crazy or something because I'm too happy. And I kept waiting for whatever this differentiate itself into some sort of diagnosable problem. But that was fifteen years ago."

I woke up early this morning and happened upon a video of a man who chose to break away from his life, in exchange for a new one.

Watching this immediately brought me to the idea of Snake Medicine. Within American Indian spirituality, animals hold a sacred meaning and stand as totems, representing a range of energies. Snakes shed their old skin, and replenish their bodies with a fresh one. A sleeker version, more suited to their new form. Their old skins remain in the shape of their previous being- a physical reminder of what it was, now a vacant home. Whatever once inhabited this shell has since moved on. As humans, as living souls, we have the capacity to shed old skins, move forward in life, and be peaceful in our remembrance of moments once lived. This allows us to be kind and patient with others going through trials we may have once been struggling through ourselves. It also gives us wisdom in handling future situations. 

This is a short documentary on John Kitchin, the 69 year old farm-raised MD from North Carolina. At least that's his common description. His "Clark Kent," of sorts. His superhero name is "Slomo." And Slomo's superpower is flight. 

No longer identifying with his old self, John made the conscious choice to shed that which no longer served him, taking on a new, lighter version of himself. The message that he brings to anyone willing to hear is simple as this: Do what you want to.

A snake probably never second guesses its choice to molt. Surely there are no clusters of snakes looking at other snakes gossiping about the new skin, comparing one with the other, feeling self conscious in their own uniquely patterned scales. Nope. It's just...what happens in nature. And nature generally knows whats best. "Do what you want to" in a snakes world would translate into a simple "do what comes naturally." Ideally it would be simple to embrace the process of letting go of that which no longer allows easy movement; disregarding the dry and cracked for the fresh and flexible.  

Greatness is a dormant power we are all destined to become. Joy, courage, forgiveness...these are amongst some of the fragrances that awaken the gentle giant within. 

I believe in you. And if you really ask yourself, you'll find that you believe in you too. It's just the natural way of things.

Couple side-notes:

  • There are too many good quotes in this video. The way this guy speaks cuts right into my heart.
  • My favorite moment is at 13.28. Sweetest of the sweet. 

Shout out to The New York Times for creating such a beautiful piece, and for Dallas Clayton for bringing it to my attention.