December 14, 2001

The Why of Flight

I finally got this month's Poetica Project done:
Write a poem on any subject using the Terza Rima form.

The Why of Flight

That 'wheeling and soaring and swinging' is all very well,
But it's not at all like that when first you inhabit the sky.
There's tedious work in it, and many a fear pang to quell.

And yet we go on with it, knowing that someday to fly
Will deliver on promises vouchsafed by that silvered wing,
Flight is promises kept; it is only the earthbound who lie.

An aircraft is such a straightforward mechanical thing,
A tool: one whose limits are etched in its stays and its steel,
Yet its leap into air is the rise of a heart in the Spring.

But so what? Does the concept of soaring have such great appeal?
Or is it the thought of a partner-machine come alive?
Or is it, as I think, the lure of a mystery revealed?

To live as a human is always to yearn to revive
A dreamtime, a manitou, magic now glimpsed but in dreaming,
Without which – so it feels – the heart never can fully thrive.

So to reach for the sky is the pull of enchantment's own seeming,
Not the thing in itself, but reflecting the magic's own gleaming,
The mystery's glow, as the moon's shine reflects the sunŐs beaming.

I won't detail the process, Mechaieh-style, because honestly I don't know my process all that well. I can tell you that I say it out to myself in my head to get a feeling for the sound and scansion, and that I keep a running list of possible rhymes when working with a rhymed scheme, but that's about it. I can detail its weaknesses: awkward phrases like "the sun's beaming"; trite images like "rise of a heart in the Spring"; a not-altogether successful linking of the allure of flight to the vague unspecified yearning at the heart of humanity. Also, perhaps, a bit of pomposity in overtelling the story -- explaining the broad general themes instead of dwelling on the specifics I know more about and letting readers make their own links.

On other subjects, I've been compiling the nominees for the various "awards" I proposed giving out on the list I administer -- Most Admirable, Most Beloved, Most Obsessed, Rowdiest, Biggest Flirt, and so on. I wasn't sure whether the awards were a good idea when I suggested them, but now I am. Compiling the nominees has been a hoot. I plan to hand out lots of ties and include some of the most trenchant comments. Also, I'll probably post every nominee for the Most Admired, Most Helpful, and Most Beloved category -- when someone lists you as the listsib they most admire, out of over 300 people, that's a huge compliment, and I think the recipients should know it. Of course, I will be keeping all the nominators anonymous. I will be the final arbiter on these awards, but I'll base my decisions largely on the votes, when applicable, and if anyone besides the winner has quite a few votes for a category, I'll mention that too. And I'll mention some of the write-in categories -- we have a "Most Able to Plan and Commit a Murder", but at least two or three people have also nominated one person as "Most Likely To" -- and I'll bet she can guess who she is. I'll probably end up posting the winners over several days, just to keep the posts from getting too long, and to build up suspense. What fun!

The City of Tempe has asked me to help coach the juniors for the last few practices of the session, after DI's 'resignation'. I'll be helping DrunkTina who told me that the first DI-less practice, on Wednesday, was a real tear-fest, but that she thinks today will go more smoothly. She also said that DI had implied to them that the whole debacle was my fault, so she did some disabusing. She's got a very good rapport with teenagers -- she works as a school counselor -- and so I hope her words took. At least if they do, I can tell them honestly I wasn't the one who blew the whistle -- though I may also stress why the person who reported it was doing the right thing. Anyway, Unknown Legend told me that they'd heard about the incident from multiple sources.

And a small in memoriam: T2 told me this morning that his cat died yesterday. They'd been together for 7 years. His cat and Egret's have been fighting since moving in together. Her cat attacked his while she was eating, and she choked on a bit of food. She died in T2's arms. Poor thing.

Today I am thankful that: my two middle-aged cats are healthy and seem to be happy and, after ten years, are getting along better.

Concept II Holiday Challenge: 41105 meters left -- I did over 11K today! Posted by dichroic at December 14, 2001 09:11 AM

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