Letting Imagination Take Flight

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

‎”Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery, French writer, poet, and pioneering aviator, who died on 31 July 1944.

After having little success as a writer, Saint-Exupery decided to take a job delivering mail as a pilot for a commercial airline. While working in the desolate isolation of the desert, he discovered something that proved to be a catalyst for his artistry: Quiet and solitude are necessary prerequisites for creative endeavors. Filled with newfound inspiration, Saint-Exupery wrote several remarkable books, including “The Little Prince,” “Wind, Sand and Stars” (which fired my boyhood imagination with dreams of adventure), and “Night Flight.” Finally, Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote something that I have always found especially heartening, since I frequently find myself surrounded by daylight-loving dullards who cannot understand the affection and gratitude we night people feel for our dark Mother and Muse: “Night, the beloved. Night, when words fade and things come alive. When the destructive analysis of day is done, and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again. When man reassembles his fragmentary self and grows with the calm of a tree.”

Some additional quotes from Antoine de Saint-Exupery:

“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
“How could there be any question of acquiring or possessing, when the one thing needful for a man is to become – to be at last, and to die in the fullness of his being.”
“A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.”
“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”
“It is in the compelling zest of high adventure and of victory, and in creative action, that man finds his supreme joys.”
“It is such a secret place, the land of tears.”
“Only he can understand what a farm is, what a country is, who shall have sacrificed part of himself to his farm or country, fought to save it, struggled to make it beautiful. Only then will the love of farm or country fill his heart.”
“True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.”
“You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose.”
“What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.”

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