Sunday, May 18, 2014

Wind, Sand and Stars


“You’ll be bothered from time to time by storms, fog, snow. When you are, think of those who went through it before you, and say to yourself, ‘what they could do, I can do.’”

  Have you ever wondered what it feels like to fly?

  Antoine Saint-Exupery reveals the pitfalls, dangers and adventures of flying a plane in the thirties and forties, but his anecdotes go beyond the flying experience. He will also make you float in the air through his musings and profound insights on life and human relationships.
  “Wind, Sand and Stars” is an invitation to fly away to distant places. This memoir will make you relish each moment of your life.
 The sour taste of tragedies and upheavals leads us to mold resilience, strength and comradeship. Saint-Exupery takes us on this path, while he inspires us to reflect on our own life experiences.
   His writing enchants and bewitches me, for he has the ability to put into words the emotions and feelings that we harbor in our hearts. His stories resonate on a personal level.
 As you enjoy his adventures you will visit different places: the Saharan desert, The Chilean Andes, the Argentinian Patagonia, the Pyrenees and many others.
 Reading this book is like embarking on a captivating journey to the past, present and future. His writing has the power to evoke childhood experiences:
“Gazing at this transfigured desert I remember the games of my childhood—the dark and golden park we peopled with gods; the limitless kingdom we made of this square mile never thoroughly explored, never thoroughly charted. We created a secret civilization where footfalls had a meaning and things a savor known in no other world.”
   Yet the greatest feat of this masterpiece may be the journey into the inner self and into the core of friendship and human connections. It has been extremely difficult for me to make a selection of quotes from this book.  I have savored each and every line, and I know I will return to them in search of wisdom and inspiration.

“Once again I had found myself in the presence of a truth and had failed to recognize it. Consider what had happened to me: I had thought myself lost, had touched the very bottom of despair; and then, when the spirit of renunciation had filled me, I had known peace. I know now what I was not conscious of at the time – that in such hour a man feels that he has finally found himself and has become his own friend. An essential inner need has been satisfied, and against that satisfaction, that self-fulfillment, no external power can prevail.”

“But by the grace of the airplane I have known a more extraordinary experience than this, and have been made to ponder with even more bewilderment the fact that this earth that is our home is yet in truth a wandering star.”

“Men are not cattle to be fattened for market. In the scales of life an indigent Newton weighs more than a parcel of prosperous nonentities. All of us have had the experience of a sudden joy that came when nothing in the world had forewarned us of its coming – a joy so thrilling that if it was born of misery we remembered even the misery with tenderness. All of us, on seeing old friends again, have remembered with happiness the trials we lived through with those friends. Of what can we be certain except this – that we are fertilized by mysterious circumstances? Where is man’s truth to be found?”

“Old friends cannot be created out of hand. Nothing can match the treasure of common memories, of trials endured together, of quarrels and reconciliations and generous emotions.”

"Each man must look to himself to teach him the meaning of life. It is not something discovered: it is something molded. These prison walls that the age of trade has built around us, we can break down."

“I lay there pondering my situation, lost in the desert and in danger, naked between sky and sand, withdrawn by too much silence from the poles of my life. I knew that I should wear out days and weeks returning to them if I were not sighted by some plane, or if next day the Moors did not find and murder me. I was no more than a mortal strayed between sand and stars, conscious of the single blessing of breathing. And yet I discovered myself filled with dreams.”

 


16 comments:

  1. Hello Julia,

    This sounds to be a totally enchanting book. We love the idea of what is essentially a story of adventure becomes also a journey of self discovery. That is very appealing.

    We have not heard of this book or author before and are delighted that you have brought it to our attention. Now we must discover it for ourselves!

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    1. Thank you, Jane and Lance.
      I think Antoine de Saint-Exupery is an author that you will enjoy. He wrote my all-time favorite book The Little Prince, a brilliant masterpiece.
      My father gave me The Little Prince when I turned fifteen and wrote some words on it about my personal journey and about finding my own wisdom in that book...

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  2. Your review of this book is invitingly satisfying. Just the review alone, apprears to fill the reader with a sober peace of their own friendship. The thought of becoming your own friend stopped me in my reading tracks. What a enduring phrase, yet so simply stated. All weekend I was looking for the right words for my granddaughter, who is at the age where she makes "others" responsible for her happiness. The phrase of "be your own friend" is what she has to first learn and it has to come from within her..... not from my words.
    There are many jewels in this review and the whole book must be a buried treasure.
    Thank you for this post

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    1. I LOVE what you say: a buried treasure. It really is a buried treasure.
      I know what you mean about your granddaughter. My daughter has similar concerns and she is only five years old...
      Supporting your granddaughter will mean a lot to her. It will help her to build up her confidence. Peer pressure is a reality.
      Stay well, my friend.

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  3. I read the book many years ago, and it was one of my favorites. The author is a pretty interesting person in his own right.

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    1. I didn't know you'd read it, Richard. Fabulous! We reunited in Saint- Exupery's land then.
      I think we would have been great friends. What an interesting person he was. I agree.

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  4. Hi Julia,

    I have stated this before and I shall state it again. Your words resonate with the eloquence that parallels and echoes Antoine Saint-Exupery's ideals so profoundly. This book entices. A book to captivate and set you free at the same time. I fly without the aid of a plane. And nobody, dear friend, shall clip your wings just as you are learning to fly.

    Take care, Julia.

    Gary

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    1. Nobody will clip our wings. We won't let anybody clip our wings.

      Thanks, Gary!
      Have a peaceful week.

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  5. Hi Julia! I love your review. I can't wait to own this book! El principito is one of my favorite books. I enjoying very much reading all your post, happy to find you.
    Hugs, Ana

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    1. Thank you, Ana. It was a pleasure to read your comment.
      I love your blog, too. You are very talented.

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  6. Love the review and so want to read this book, such a loss but so wonderful that we have his work to continue to remember him by.

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    1. Thanks, Claire.
      I look forward to your insights.

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  7. Hi Julia .. I'm sure I've seen the book around and thought it is one I need to read .. now even more so .. thanks for another great recommendation .. cheers Hilary

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  8. Julia, this memoir sounds remarkable and very inspirational! Love all the excerpts you selected. Saint-Exupery is a truly gifted writer, what a way he has with words, so poetic. Your review is equally beautiful and poetic. I am buying “Wind, Sand and Stars.”

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    1. Thank you, Jersey!
      I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.
      It is one of those books that I like to read slowly... yes, his writing is poetical and intense. And also thought-provoking.
      Thank you for your uplifting feedback!

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