I wanted to learn to fly, not because it was the smart thing to do in the 1920s, but because I was afraid of anything that flew.... I reasoned that if I learned to fly, I might conquer my fear of it. The remedy worked.
(Joy Bright Hancock (1898-1986), U.S. naval officer. Lady in the Navy, ch. 3 (1972).
In 1925, Hancock's husband of fifteen months had died in a plane crash. Here she was explaining why she became a student pilot in the late 1920s. Later, she would become an officer in the WAVES, the U. S. Navy's women's division.)
I turn and turn in my cell like a fly that doesn't know where to die.
(Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937), Italian political theorist. Letter, July 20, 1931. Gramsci: Letters from Prison, no. 199, trans. by Raymond Rosenthal (1993).
Gramsci had been in prison since 1926, when Mussolini had outlawed the Communist Party, and spent the rest of his life there.)
Damn it! What a way to fly into a warunarmed and out of gas!
(Larry Forrester, U.S. screenwriter, Hideo Oguni, and Ryuzo Kikushima. Richard Fleischer, Toshio Masuda, Kinji Fukasaku. Major Truman Landon (Norman Alden), Tora! Tora! Tora! As pilot returning from training mission to find Pearl Harbor under attack (1970).)
Now I am light, now I fly, now I see myself beneath myself, now a god dances through me.
(Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 4, p. 50, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). Zarathustra, in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, First Part, "On Reading and Writing," (1883).)
When the heart flies out before the understanding, it saves the judgment a world of pains.
(Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy by Mr. Yorick (1768), ch. "The Remise Door. Calais." Ed. Gardner D. Stout, Jr., University of California Press (1967).)