Tuesday 21 April 2009

It's strange, so it must be art?

In the square below my apartment there's a closed, locked, shipping container. There's a fireworks display going off inside it. No, really. I am not making this up.

There is a small crowd of people watching it, in the square and on balconies in the building. What we can see is: smoke leaking from the edges of the container. A very few flashes of light and coloured sparks squeezing out below the doors. What we can hear is: bangs of various sizes and tenors.

It's finished now. Applause. We drift away. It's cold tonight.

Apparently this is art. I think I am a fogey. It doesn't make me think or feel anything in particular... and it's not beautiful. So is it art, just because an official artist made it?

Although, I guess, it did make me blog.

Sunday 5 April 2009

High Flight

Did my first take-off today. Still shaking.

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds, – and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,

I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung

My eager craft through footless falls of air...

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue

I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace

Where never lark, nor eer eagle flew –
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod

The high, untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

`High Flight,' a sonnet written by John Gillespie Magee, a pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Second World War.