There’s something about the way the city is slanted tonight that throws me askew, even while seated. I first noticed this while riding the train. Every bump and turn, acceleration and deceleration, vibration and stillness… my body just didn’t react in harmony with any of this. Even in my apartment, tripping over the carpet, stumbling as I dropped the keys. Something feels amiss, out of phase. The Midwest appears to be veering slightly to the right.
Writing the paragraph above seems to be the only thing I’ve done that I actually intended to do all day. A whole night looking for a place to work and write, only to return to the place I had been avoiding most of all. I may as well as spent the day looking for a parking space. It must have to do with that slant I mentioned.
I’m utterly captivated by the beautiful, beautiful writing of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in his aviation memoir, Wind, Sand and Stars. I’ve come to revere him… .
“Happiness! It is useless to seek it elsewhere than in this warmth of human relations. Our sordid interests imprison us within their walls. Only a comrade can grasp us by the hand and haul us free.”
“Old bureaucrat, my comrade, it is not you who are to blame. No one ever helped you escape. You, like a termite, built your peace by blocking up with cement every chink and cranny through which the light might pierce. You rolled yourself up into a ball in your genteel security, in routine, in the stifling conventions of provincial life, raising a modest rampart against the winds and the tides and the stars. You have chosen not to be perturbed by the great problems, having trouble enough to forget your fate as a man. You are not the dweller upon an errant planet and do not ask yourself questions to which there are no answers. You are a petty bourgeois of Toulouse. Nobody grasped you by the shoulder while there was still time. Now the clay of which you were shaped has dried and hardened, and naught in you will ever awaken the sleeping musician, the poet, the astronomer that possibly inhabited you in the beginning.
The squall has ceased to be the cause of my complaint.
The magic of the craft has opened for me a world in which I shall confront, within two hours, the black dragons and the crowned crests of a coma of blue lightnings, and when night has fallen, I, delivered, shall read my course in the stars.”