tempted to reject
awe, fear we would grow stupid
Adapted from the book, A Week at the Airport: A Heathrow Diary (2009, Vintage Books) by Alain de Botton, and the passage:
Standing before costly objects of technological beauty, we may be tempted to reject the possibility of awe, for fear that we could grow stupid through admiration. We may feel at risk of becoming overimpressed by architecture and engineering, of being dumbstruck by the Bombardier trains that progress driverlessly between satellites or by the General Electric GE90 engines that hang lightly off the composite wings of a Boeing 777 bound for Seoul.
And yet to refuse to be awed at all might in the end be merely another kind of foolishness. In a world full of chaos and irregularity, the terminal seemed a worthy and intriguing refuge of elegance and logic. It was the imaginative centre of contemporary culture. Had one been asked to take a Martian to visit a single place that neatly captures the gamut of themes running through our civilisation – from our faith in technology to our destruction of nature, from our interconnectedness to our romanticising of travel – then it would have to be to the departures and arrivals halls that one would head. I ran out of reasons not to accept the airport’s unusual offer to spend a little more time on its premise.
Part of the series of Haiku inspired by from A Week at the Airport: A Heathrow Diary (2009, Vintage Books) by Alain de Botton. I discovered this book entirely by accident. When searching for books online, I will use the term ‘collections’ and see what turns up. I figure that someone who has taken the time to gather together the etexts of any one author to create a collected works folder is enough for me to see what this author might be all about.
In this case I came across the writing of Alain de Botton. I enjoyed his use of language very much. Much of the words he strings together lend themselves to what I do.
As for his book, I recommend it very much though written in 2009, it misses the added layer of travel under covid but still the picture of the modern airport is worth the read.