Thursday, 22 July 2010

Wind, Sand and Stars

I've been reading "Wind, Sand and Stars" by Antioine de Saint-Exupery a pilot in the very early days or aeroplanes. His prose is amazing, beautifully descriptive and thoughtful on the adventure of life.


This passage particularly effected me. I am terrified of the clay hardening, one should always be open to new ideas and changing oneself.


"Old bureaucrat, my companion here present, no man ever opened an escape route for you, and you are not to blame. You built peace for yourself by blocking up every chink of light, as termites do. You rolled yourself into a ball of bourgeois security, your routines, the stifling rituals of your provincial existence, you built your humble rampart against the winds and tides and stars. You have no wish to ponder great questions, you had enough trouble suppressing awareness of your human condition. You do not dwell on a wandering planet, you ask yourself no unanswerable questions. No man ever grasped you by the shoulder while there was still time. Now the clay that formed you has dried and hardened, and no man could now awaken in you the dormant musician, the poet or the astronomer who perhaps once dwelt within you."


I love the vivid description in his prose, here's a storm whilst flying over the ocean:


"Waterspouts stood in apparently motionless ranks like pillars of a temple. On their swollen capitals rested the dark and lowering arch of the storm, but blades of light sliced down through cracks in the arch, and between the pillars the full moon gleamed on the cold stone tiles of the sea. And Mermoz made his way through those empty ruins, banking for hours from one channel of light to another, circling round those giant pillars with the sea surely surging up inside them, following those flows of moonlight toward the exit from the temple."
Highly recommended.

1 comment:

  1. I've read that. Great book! Thanks for posting these excerpts to remind me to reread. Sarah

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