Sine qua non

 

“Without which, Nothing.”

IT NEVER would have happened, this scene, under zero conditions would ever I have stood on this beach, heard this cool water whispering in the sand, felt that breeze across the water, were it not for the machine you see here, colored maroonish-white.

Is that what they had in mind, the ones who labored and failed, labored and won the inventions of flight?  “It’s not the machine that matters,” would they have said, “it’s the experience that the machine will bring to lives unborn!”

No way they would have said that, my guess.  More likely it was the machine that mattered to Wilbur and Orville, to Taylor and his Cub, though perhaps not to Mr. Piper, when he bought the Cub from Taylor and Jamaneau, named it after himself and made it famous around the world.

Inventors love building amazing things, bolt by bolt; visionaries love building ideas, to which things are servant.

So whom do I thank, standing on this shore, drawing this day into my now and memories-to-be?  Inventors, thank you.  Visionaries, thank you.  Yet of course that beach would not exist without my own decision to make it come true.  So thank me, too?

What made me choose flying in the first place?  Fantasies of heaven, of soaring above clouds, of reliving days of soul without body?  Getting close.

Love, it comes down to.  Irresistible attraction to some invisible that matters more than matter does, the spirit behind the molecules.

Key to happiness, I’ve ever thought: Find what we most love in all the world, and go that way.

The hard thing is not the struggle of going-that-way, no matter the jungles and thorns that lie in that direction.  The hard thing, the doorway to a lifetime of mediocrity, is not finding what it is that we love.

The History of Toy Soldiers, or Can I Build A House from Toothpicks? or I Love Advertising! …doesn’t matter what it is we love, the object is immaterial.

Live without some love, though, we’re doomed.

So what’s the ultimate sine qua non?

You guessed it.

2 thoughts on “Sine qua non

  1. “Key to happiness, I’ve ever thought: Find what we most love in all the world, and go that way. The hard thing is not the struggle of going-that-way, no matter the jungles and thorns that lie in that direction. The hard thing, the doorway to a lifetime of mediocrity, is not finding what it is that we love.”

    – Experienced enough to know that insights appear at the moment needed. I’m certain I was meant to read this today.

    The mic dropped, the gaunlet tossed, the stage vacated, the arms raised, the bow taken. These words as penetrating as naked truth remain.

    Well done, Richard. Well, done.

  2. Love. I love this. reliving days of soul without body? Getting close.
    Me too.
    You make me feel less crazy.

    Unrelated, but because of your photo there;
    First time i ever flew in an airplane was in canada on a float plane. With a bomb master switch. Pilot assured me there were no longer bombs on the plane… Think he said it was from world war 2. He had to rock the plane to keep from hitting a bald eagle. Flying right beside me. Over acres and acres of nothing but trees and lakes. Incredible. No joke. True story. I was 12 or maybe 13. I still can’t believe it.

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