If you want to know what this blog is about…
Why begin my blog with this picture?
– First, I find the image of a man flying alone into a limitless sky very inspiring. That is our goal here, to display all kinds of pictures and to let them guide our reflections with total freedom.
– Second, I love bi- and triplanes. These aircraft are fully functional aerodynamic machines that obey the rules of physics, but are also wonderfully romantic and surreal creatures. That sets the tone, our feet on the ground but our spirit in the clouds. Not pragmatic, not spiritual, something in-between. Like this bright red airplane.
– Third, he was the enemy. The motto of this blog is take nothing for granted, and that means taking a second look at everything, and avoiding second-hand judgments. This is a good example.
– Fourth, the Red Baron himself. Manfred Von Richthofen fought and died in one of the most terrible wars in history. Fighter pilots were heirs to the ancient chivalric traditions and the Red Baron stood out among them with 80 officially credited victories. He made himself a living legend and never hid, in fact he flew and died in this red triplane, visible from afar, so his foes would always know he was there. He was wounded twice, but never shot down and the bullet that killed him, generally believed to have come from a ground machine-gun, forced him to make his final landing behind the enemy lines. It is said his last word was “Kaput”, broken.
Now, what turns this ace pilot into an inspiring example for me is not his flying prowess or his records but the fact that, after having shot down so many enemy aircraft and dominated the WWI skies for 3 years, he was buried by those very enemies with full military honors. His adversaries presented memorial wreaths at his burial site. One of them said:
To Our Gallant and Worthy Foe
“To our gallant and worthy foe”. It is almost like they wanted to write friend and couldn’t. We lost this candor along the way. The 20th Century wars took care of that, but I would like to recover that spirit, that candor and let it shine a little through these words. To the humble extent of my possibilities, of course. We might agree or not. We might end up defending opposite ideas in this blog, but always with the utmost respect and honesty. Let’s help each other grow as persons and let us never believe we are done learning. Let’s fly into the limitless skies together…
About the Picture
I normally do not create this sort of things. I shot the sky from an airplane above the Mediterranean or Italy in 2007. The triplane is a 1/24 model kit I assembled and painted myself. The scarf is made of toilet paper. For those who might wonder, The Fokker DR-I had a service ceiling of 20,000 ft, so this image is possible. His teeth would be chattering pretty bad, though 🙂 . This picture can be printed in photo paper, canvas, metal or acrylic surface from 8″ to 72″, or in greeting card format. You can check them by clicking the images above.
I am all in for customizing pictures. All of them can be retouched in many ways, texts altered, changed or deleted. Ask freely.