Friday, July 2, 2010

Flying Solo

Great men are like eagles, and build their nest on some lofty solitude.

Arthur Schopenhauer
I have a photograph of a large locomotive. It look to be about a city block long. It was built to haul a long lines of heavy freight cars, the sort that are sometimes pulled by two or three locomotives.

I was thinking about the engineer who designed it. How he must have taken the technological marvels of railroad design, matched them to the specifications of his task, combined with his knowledge and abilities and finally with his own creative imagination. No doubt there is a plaque somewhere naming the owner and the builder, but I wonder if he signed it as an artist would a painting. Maybe he did in some obscure place known only to the few railroad workers who happened to discover it.

I wonder if one day he stood with other pedestrians who were unaware that he designed it and watched the monster roll by noting and admiring quietly to himself that he knew every bone, sinew, muscle and blood vessel of the great machine, huge wheels that turn in a flash, like an eagle head, to accommodate twisting, turning rails.

I can write about loneliness. I know those moments when you need to communicate with another human being about nothing in particular just to make contact with an intelligent human being. those are important moments. Thank you Mark.
Thank you Trees.

I can write about aloneness. I know about facing the dilemmas and paradoxes of life that no one can face for you and making the decisions that no one else can make. I know how important it is to know yourself and not to be told who you are. I know that your own private thoughts are the only ones you really understand.

I can write about solitude. I know the value of continuity, the great value of uninterrupted pursuit of ideas, plans and wishes. For an artist or any thinking person solitude is an essential condition and circumstance of life. To be uninterrupted by other people or even by the radio, television or outdoor activities is golden time.

I don't like my loneliness. But I accept it because I do cherish my aloneness and my solitude.

DB - The Vagabond

(This is not a contest.)

Who are the 2 (two) most important people alive today? Why?

4 responses so far.

Thank you.


Big Mark 243 said...

Mark, like Kilroy, was here.

Liz said...

An eyrie gives a great all- round lofty view but if a man is to emulate the eagle he must also have the ability to focus on small and seemingly insignificant life.

Only the eagle chick spends any time in the eyrie while much wiser parents feed it. The young eagle outgrows such need the moment it realises that in order to learn how to fly it must leave the eyrie.

Great men are like eagles because they have the courage to leave the eyrie before they have learned how to fly.
Ordinary man can learn to fly while running on the ground, as they have fallen only a few feet from the nest before they knew how.
Some can instinctively fly before they walk this earth.

They are the eagles.