Flying by the book — 2 Comments

  1. Having recently read The Little Prince to our 8 year old, I am now reading Wind, Sand & Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupery and only this morning, just after his commentary on the hum-drum life of many, he and you were in the same corner – although his was published 65 years ago:

    “The squalls of rain no longer trouble me. The magic of my profession is revealing to me a world where within two hours I shall confront the dark dragons and the crests crowned with a mane of blue lightening: and then, set free by the coming on night I shall chart my course in the stars.

    That was the form of our professional baptism, and we began to fly. More often than not those flights were uneventful. Like divers, we sank peacefully into the depths of our domain. Today it has been thoroughly explored; the pilot, the engineer and the radio operator aren’t embarking on an adventure now, but shutting themselves in a laboratory. They respond to instrument needles, not to the unfolding of a landscape. Outside their capsule the mountains are immersed in darkness, but they are not mountains no. They are invisible powers whose approach is reckoned mathematically.”

    Just as ‘there used to be a book…’, there used to be a life of adventure to be lived before the world of today where everything is known and everything you do is recorded somewhere……

  2. I knew nothing about Antoine de Saint-Exupery until a few days ago. Watching Michael Portillo on one of his continental rail journeys, one from Paris to Marseilles, he visited the home of de Saint-Exupery and revealed the story of an amazing man.

    Adventures now seem confined to the world of virtual reality games.

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