April 6, 2009

Fate is the Hunter

From Fate is the Hunterby Ernest K. Gann:
A pilot's capacity for discourse on flying is virtually unlimited; he may drift away from the subject momentarily, but soon, by some device or accident of simile, he is once again locked tightly to his obsession.
There were many obstacles to be conquered before this could be done, and there were as many pessimists who said it could never be done. The visionaries, as always, found they must be their own strength, for the hairs of pomposity prickled upon the skins of the incumbent authorities, warning them to smother this new attack upon the impossible. Fertile imaginations were ridiculed and occasionally thwarted, which was only a repetition of history; yet, likewise, they mainly triumphed in the end.
Put your trust in God and Pratt and Whitney.
For loneliness, I thought, is an opportunity. Only in such a state may ordinary minds, spared comparison with superior minds, emerge victorious from thoughts which might prove perilous to explore in company. Loneliness presents no challengers to undermine by argument and stipulation those comforting theories born of it.... Unless men are transformed into true imbeciles and simply stare at nothing or play with their physical toys, then loneliness can form a magic platform which may transport the meek to thoughts of courage, or even cause the scoundrel to examine the benefits of honesty.
And it seemed to me that men were never intended to play at Gods.
Yet the confidence which lures a man to a life of flight in the first place is almost indestructible. He believes, he must believe absolutely, in his personal fortune and destiny.

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