Air Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 2428 quotes )
Air travel reminds us who we are. It’s the means by which we recognize ourselves as modern. The process removes us from the world and sets us apart from each other. We wander in the ambient noise, checking one more time for the flight coupon, the boarding pass, the visa. The process convinces us that at any moment we may have to submit to the force that is implied in all this, the unknown authority behind it, behind the categories, the languages we don’t understand. This vast terminal has been erected to examine souls.
The painted aircraft took on sunlight and pulse. Sweeps of color, bands and spatters, airy washes, the force of saturated light—the whole thing oddly personal, a sense of one painter’s hand moved by impulse and afterthought as much as by epic design. I hadn’t expected to register such pleasure and sensation. The air was color-scrubbed, coppers and ochers burning off the metal skin of the aircraft to exchange with the framing desert.
I suppose there has been nothing like the airports since the age of the stage-stops - nothing quite as lonely, as sombre-silent. The red-brick depots were built right into the towns they marked - people didn't get off at those isolated stations unless they lived there. But airports lead you way back in history like oases, like the stops on the great trade routes. The sight of air travellers strolling in ones and twos into midnight airports will draw a small crowd any night up or two. The young people look at the planes, the older ones look at the passengers with a watchful incredulity.
I sigh therefore I am . . . In the beginning and unto the end was and is the lung: divine afflatus, baby’s first yowl, shaped air of speech, staccato gusts of laughter, exalted airs of song, happy lover’s groan, unhappy lover’s lament, miser’s whine, crone’s croak, illness’s stench, dying whisper, and beyond and beyond the airless, silent void. A sigh isn’t just a sigh. We inhale the world and breathe out meaning. While we can. While we can.
Of the not very many ways known of shedding one's body, falling, falling, falling is the supreme method, but you have to select your sill or ledge very carefully so as not to hurt yourself or others. Jumping from a high bridge is not recommended even if you cannot swim, for wind and water abound in weird contingencies, and tragedy ought not to culminate in a record dive or a policeman's promotion. If you rent a cell in the luminous waffle, room 1915 or 1959, in a tall business centre hotel browing the star dust, and pull up the window, and gently - not fall, not jump - but roll out as you should for air comfort, there is always the chance of knocking clean through into your own hell a pacific noctambulator walking his dog; in this respect a back room might be safer, especially if giving on the roof of an old tenacious normal house far below where a cat may be trusted to flash out of the way. Another popular take-off is a mountaintop with a sheer drop of say 500 meters but you must find it, because you will be surprised how easy it is to miscalculate your deflection offset, and have some hidden projection, some fool of a crag, rush forth to catch you, causing you to bounce off it into the brush, thwarted, mangled and unnecessarily alive. The ideal drop is from an aircraft, your muscles relaxed, your pilot puzzled, your packed parachute shuffled off, cast off, shrugged off - farewell, shootka (little chute)! Down you go, but all the while you feel suspended and buoyed as you somersault in slow motion like a somnolent tumbler pigeon, and sprawl supine on the eiderdown of the air, or lazily turn to embrace your pillow, enjoying every last instant of soft, deep, death-padded life, with the earth's green seesaw now above, now below, and the voluptuous crucifixion, as you stretch yourself in the growing rush, in the nearing swish, and then your loved body's obliteration in the Lap of the Lord.
Some junk novels were all about airports. Some junk novels were even called things like Airport. Why, then you might ask, was there no airport called Junk Novel? …Junk novels have been around for at least as long as non-junk novels, and airports haven’t been around for very long at all. But they both really took off at the same time. Readers of junk novels and people in airports wanted the same thing: escape, and quick transfer from one junk novel to another junk novel and from one airport to another airport.
We're safe enough now,' he thought, 'we're snug and tight, like an air-raid shelter. We can hold out. It's just the food that worries me. Food and coal for the fire. We've enough for two or three days, not more. By that time...'No use thinking ahead as far as that. And they'd be giving directions on the wireless. People would be told what to do. And now, in the midst of many problems, he realised that it was dance music only coming over the air. Not Children's Hour, as it should have been. He glanced at the dial. Yes, they were on the Home Service all right. Dance records. He switched to the Light programme. He knew the reason. The usual programmes had been abandoned. This only happened at exceptional times. Elections, and such. He tried to remember if it had happened in the war... ("The Birds")
A sombrero fell out of the sky and landed on the main street of town in front of the mayor, his cousin, and a person out of work. The day was scrubbed clean by the desert air. The sky was blue. It was the blue of human eyes, waiting for something to happen. There was no reason for a sombrero to fall out of the sky. No airplane or helicopter was passing overhead and it was not a religious holiday.
The family which takes its mauve an cerise, air-conditioned, power-steered and power-braked automobile out for a tour passes through cities that are badly paved, made hideous by litter, lighted buildings, billboards and posts for wires that should long since have been put underground. They pass on into countryside that has been rendered largely invisible by commercial art. (The goods which the latter advertise have an absolute priority in our value system. Such aesthetic considerations as a view of the countryside accordingly come second. On such matters we are consistent.) They picnic on exquisitely packaged food from a portable icebox by a polluted stream and go on to spend the night at a park which is a menace to public health and morals. Just before dozing off on an air mattress, beneath a nylon tent, amid the stench of decaying refuse, they may reflect vaguely on the curious unevenness of their blessings. Is this, indeed, the American genius?
And the places she turns up in Jamaica are all the more curious. I remember being at sound-system dances and hearing everyone from Bob Marley Kenny Rogers (yes, Kenny Rogers) to Sade to Yellowman to Beenie Man being blasted at top volume while the crowd danced and drank up a storm. But once the selector (DJ in American parlance) began to play a Celine Dion song, the crowd went buck wild and some people started firing shots in the air.... I also remember always hearing Celine Dion blasting at high volume whenever I passed through volatile and dangerous neighborhoods, so much that it became a cue to me to walk, run or drive faster if I was ever in a neighborhood I didn't know and heard Celine Dion mawking over the airwaves.
Catelyn had never liked this godswood. She had been born a Tully, at Riverrun far to the south, on the Red Fork of the Trident. The godswood there was a garden, bright and airy, where tall redwoods spread dappled shadows across tinkling streams, birds sang from hidden nests, and the air was spicy with the scent of flowers.
I sit in the top of the wood, my eyes closed.Inaction, no falsifying dreamBetween my hooked head and hooked feet:Or in sleep rehearse perfect kills and eat.The convenience of the high trees!The air's buoyancy and the sun's rayAre of advantage to me;And the earth's face upward for my inspection.My feet are locked upon the rough bark.It took the whole of CreationTo produce my foot, my each feather:Now I hold Creation in my footOr fly up, and revolve it all slowly -I kill where I please because it is all mine.There is no sophistry in my body:My manners are tearing off heads -The allotment of death.For the one path of my flight is directThrough the bones of the living.No arguments assert my right:The sun is behind me.Nothing has changed since I began.My eye has permitted no change.I am going to keep things like this.
The light dove, in free flight cutting through the air the resistance of which it feels, could get the idea that it could do even better in airless space. Likewise, Plato abandoned the world of the senses because it posed so many hindrances for the understanding, and dared to go beyond it on the wings of the ideas, in the empty space of pure understanding.
He watched a catbird hopping around in an azalea that was readying itself to bloom; he envied the bird for knowing nothing of what he knew; he would have swapped souls with it in a heartbeat. And then to take wing, to know the air's buoyancy even for an hour: the trad was a no-brainer, and the catbird, with its lively indifference to him, its sureness of physical selfhood, seemed well aware of how preferable it was to be the bird.