zhmort (zhmort) wrote,
zhmort
zhmort

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Unnatural Beauty

This morning, getting ready for work, I heard something I forgot I loved: the sound of a jet flying overhead.

I hadn't forgotten that I loved this recently. I forgot a while ago. I can't even remember when it was, in fact.

For quite some time now, I've lived near our local military airport's flight landing path, so the noisy sounds of decelerating jets has been a regular part of my life. And recently, there was an air show at the military base. I remember being annoyed numerous times at these planes flying overhead, at the noise, at the impoliteness of it all. Some times, it even made me downright angry. If you know me, then you know this is saying something. I'm usually fairly unflappable when it comes to annoyances, to the point that friends have been occasionally annoyed with me for not being more annoyed myself.

Well... now... I take it all back. My annoyance at planes is gone. All gone. Instead, I am left with a feeling of reverence. And that feeling isn't new, just recalled from some long-forgotten basement of my soul. There was a time in my life when I considered myself an "objectivist," in love with the ideology of Ayn Rand. Though I have certainly recovered from that, there are many ideas of hers that have stuck with me. One of them is the notion that technology -- the visible product of man's mind -- is a beautiful thing. Ayn felt that the most beautiful of all mountains could never compare to the beauty of a single train, or plane, or skyscraper. I understand what she meant by that, and I agree with it, now more than ever.

Whether it was the primary intent or not, the attacks this week created tremendous disorder and entropy, using these very symbols (planes and skyscrapers) as tools. I know the attackers are in love with the incredible irony of this.

I didn't observe the Moment Of Silence today. Actually, I was on my way to work at the time (12:30 pm PDT), in my truck, in traffic, listening to the radio. If anyone had looked at me right then, I would have been slightly embarrassed for being out driving around when I was supposed to be somewhere being quiet or prayerful. So, to make up for it, later in the afternoon, I went to a park by my office building. (Locals know the one...) I went there because it was a beautiful day, and because I wanted to be outside. Primarily, though, I went there because it just happens to be situated so that planes taking off from the nearby airport are clearly visible. They fly right toward the park, in fact, before banking hard, around, 180 degrees, and continuing on out of the valley. I've always liked that location, because you get the combo of seeing the planes so closeup, while also getting to watch that cool, 180 degree, banking turn over and over.

The airports are open again (yay!), and the planes are flying, and I am so relieved about this. Planes are our mind-products, and they are beautiful. That someone so full of hate would use these products to commit horrible acts against other men is a travesty, and I resent that those actions led to our giving them up, even if only for a few days. Having our commercial airlines shut down was a total shock. The moment I heard we had shut them all down, everywhere, I thought, "Whoa. That's major. We've never done that before, have we?" Sure enough, we hadn't. And in reflection, that is amazing.

Mankind is amazing. I'm so glad to be a part of it.
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