Imagine a world in which there is no imperative. Imagine a life that is lived without any voice or any feeling telling you “no”. There is no one and no thing saying, “Stop that! You’ll get yourself killed!”. Obviously this can be problematic. If you were to live and feel nothing as if you had no nervous system you wouldn’t live long. And if you did it would be because you did listen to the voice of caution making this said world a fictional one.
To live without the voice of caution and danger is to live, well, cautionless and dangerous. It may be what human beings need. Maybe we need a generation of Icaruses soaring towards the sun and rocketing back to the seas. Because to not do so is to stay in the same place- somewhere between the sea and sun- no where. The story of Icarus is inspirational and counter productive if I understand it’s original moral. You must listen to what your authorities tell you and resist the urge to soar because to soar would be to commit suicide. We know what’s best for you. But it really makes for a hell of a ride. And the story of his father is seriously anti-climatic is it not? He stays between the sea and sun and still dies. Maybe not then of course. But one died on the ground and one died soaring towards the sun. Which do you want? After all the story is remembered as “The Flight of Icarus”, not “The Flight of Icarus’s Dad”.
Who can say that a life lived long and painless is one that you want to live? One you should live? I reject this. I defy it. To live a glorious life is to live one soaring higher and higher to the sun and feeling the wing’s wax heat against your back and the rays of the sun beat on your face and the resistance of the wind against your person, slowing you to a dead stop and hanging in mid air as you gaze at the sun, blinding your eyes and then falling rapidly to the cool ocean where you reflect with blind eyes on your glorious flight as people spectate and awe and remember your glory.
These will be the ones to speak of your flight with voices that aren’t hoarse with shouting for excitement and eyes that aren’t blind for seeing such light. And they will tell your story to their children and tell them that you did something wrong. But one of their children will be seen on top of a tower one day with a make shift pair of wax wings, looking upwards as they leap into the chasm to soar to the place of unspeakable light. So here’s a toast to all the rebels willing to fly into certain but glorious death with blind eyes and scorched skin and a hoarse voice over flying with perfect eyes and a clear voice and milky skin to an impending and inglorious death.
“Fly, on your way, like an eagle,
Fly as high the sun,
On your way, like an eagle,
Fly, touch the sun.” Iron Maiden, “Flight of Icarus”
Flight of Icarus by Iron Maiden:
Swan Song by Led Zeppelin: