The World from Above – Part III

“The Wright brothers flew through the smoke screen of impossibility.” — Dorothea Brande

How many things in your life have proven to be nothing more than the “smoke screen of impossibility”? Life’s challenges are often daunting when they are first encountered, but once a little knowledge and experience are gained in relation to them they are put back into perspective. Premature judgment often makes things appear much worse than they really are.

You can save yourself a lot of trouble in life if you take the time to cultivate in yourself the ability to receive with equanimity that which is initially foreign, unfamiliar, or seemingly insurmountable. The way you fly through life is largely determined by the habit patterns you develop around this central point.

I took these pictures while earning my seaplane license in Italy several years ago. One of the challenges I met in the course of my instruction (coming to it as a land-based pilot) was to land in the river that ran through the farm shown below. Yes, I had to land in a narrow, winding, flowing river, that my instructor (I think jokingly?) said was protected by a shotgun wielding farmer. And yes, I survived.

Our first landing required me to have faith in my instructor that far exceeded my personal experience and understanding of what was possible, but the second one was a cinch. not only that, it gave me the confidence to meet the new challenge…glassy water landings!

I hope you enjoy the photos…

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*Photos taken by Gregg Hake with a Sony DSC-T10 in a seaplane over Lake Como in Italy

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The World from Above – Part II

“The Wright Brothers created the single greatest cultural force since the invention of writing. The airplane became the first World Wide Web, bringing people, languages, ideas, and values together.” — Bill Gates, Co-founder, Microsoft Corporation

It’s hard to imagine the great American cities without thinking in the same breath of their associated networks of airports. These airports serve as transport centers for people, goods, and cultural memes much as the railroads did (and continue to provide to a lesser extent). As much as people complain about going to the airport these days, can you imagine the world without them? It would be like a kitchen without a mixing bowl.

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*Photos taken by Gregg Hake with a Sony DSC-T10 in a Piper Saratoga TC-II over Manhattan and Long Island. This was my first flight in the NY airspace as pilot in command. I learned that NY air traffic controllers speak quickly, regularly change routing (which is challenging if the pilot is unfamiliar with the names of the waypoints), and are very accommodating if the pilot remains polite and patient.

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The World from Above – Part I

“Sometimes, flying feels too godlike to be attained by man. Sometimes, the world from above seems too beautiful, too wonderful, too distant for human eyes to see…” — Charles A. Lindbergh, The Spirit of St. Louis, 1953

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*Photos taken from a small Cessna above Flagstaff, Arizona by Gregg Hake with a Sony Cybershot November 21, 2005

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The Cosmos Within

I had the pleasure of touring the Kennedy Space Center recently and I found the entire complex to be a testament to human ingenuity and natural splendor. The feats of derringdo wrought from the various launch pads that dot this stretch of Florida coastline are impressive, and it is hard to imagine a more perfect setting – the dividing line between our verdant earth and its azure sea – for the many and varied expeditions undertaken to explore our place in the cosmos. 

The Apollo/Saturn V exhibit and the Space Shuttle Atlantis experience were particularly captivating. The sheer size and mind-boggling complexity of these space vehicles demonstrate to what extent man will go to deepen his understanding of the universe and ultimately, of himself.  

While seeing and feeling all of this I found myself wondering if we as a race have gained more by looking out than we have by looking inwardly. And as I looked out of the bus window at the commercial investments being made by Boeing and SpaceX, but again, I asked myself if man will ultimately profit more  from probing the stars or examining his heart. 
I suppose the distinction is somewhat arbitrary, for are not we woven into the fabric of the universe? I mean, who has ever looked up at the heavens and not felt a certain kinship with the twinkling stars? Are they really so different to the twinkling eye of one’s neighbor, friend, or lover?

To my mind, both outward and inward exploration are important if one is to fulfill one’s purpose in life. Ideally, these two would be balanced. Life flourishes in the counterbalancing of an ever-widening comprehension of the world beyond oneself with an ever-deepening understanding of the cosmos within. 

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Power

“Power”, a haiku by Gregg Hake

Summer thunderstorm
Roars into life overhead-
Power beyond man’s

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Honesty’s Treasure

“Honesty’s Treasure”, a haiku by Gregg Hake

Honesty’s treasure:
Heart and mind in agreement-
Let the truth be known.

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