No Minister

Insane in the membrane

with one comment

I was glad to hear that he’s never going to fly that high again.

I was also glad to see how much he enjoyed and appreciated the world laid out before his feet. Even if Antoine de Saint-Exupéry expressed it more beautifully in words long ago I can’t help wondering whether he would have taken even greater flights of fancy after touching the world via such a bare-bones contraption compared to the conventional planes which enclosed him. Certainly I thought of these lines as he passed through the layers of light cloud:

And now a wonder seized him. Dazzled by that brightness, he had to keep his eyes closed for some seconds. He had never dreamt the night-clouds could dazzle thus. But the full moon and all the constellations were changing them to light.

In a flash, the very instant he had risen clear, the pilot found a peace that passed his understanding. Not a ripple tilted the plane, but like a ship that has crossed the bar, it moved within a tranquil anchorage. In an unknown secret corner of the sky it floated, as in a harbour of the Happy Isles. Below him still the storm was fashioning another world, thridded with squalls and cloudbursts and lightnings, but turning to the stars a face of crystal snow.

Now all grew luminous, his hands, his clothes, the wings, and Fabien thought that he was in a limbo of strange magic; for the light did not come down from the stars but welled up from below, from all that snowy whiteness.

I also wonder if, when this young man once again touched Earth, he thought of this line:

“She wrapped herself around me and enlightened me. I should never have fled. I should have guessed at the tenderness behind her poor ruses.”

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Written by Tom Hunter

January 8, 2022 at 2:59 pm

Posted in Aerospace, Technology, USA

One Response

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  1. Cool!, it would have been pretty cold up there. To go higher, he would probably need oxygen for himself and that motor. (a pair of gloves and a balaclava would be handy as well)

    Uncoffined

    January 8, 2022 at 4:32 pm


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