September 22nd, 2005

abstract butterfly

saved by the pilot's landing

"Let the first act of every morning be to make the following resolve for the day:
I shall not fear anyone on earth
I shall fear only God
I shall not bear ill toward anyone
I shall not submit to injustice from anyone
I shall conquer untruth by truth
And in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering"--Mohandas Gandhi

I've been quite busy this week, which I regard in general as a tiring but good thing. Last night, after work,
I stopped at Que Huong for a pho, as my wife was at a meeting. On the television, CNN covered the landing of a jet plane at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The plane's landing gear did not deploy correctly. The front wheels turned to the side, instead of deploying in line. The potential for tragedy hovered in the air.
Those of us in the restaurant sat riveted. The plane several times nearly landed, but pulled up at the last moment. The the plane came down to ground. Masses of emergency vehicles stood by for rescure operations.

I now appreciate the phrase "watching a train wreck" a bit better than I did before that landing. I kept expecting that the plane's landing would result in the stray wheel assembly ripping the passenger jet apart.
Finally, the pilot touched down, rear wheels first. The plane did not buckle or come apart. A new danger arose.

The "turned sideways" wheel caused such friction as to cause friction sparks, which soon turned into flames on the underside of the plane. I became concerned that the jet fuel might catch fire, causing an explosion. The plumes of flame looked great, but felt deadly. Finally, though, the pilot brought the plane to a stop. Everyone survived. The man at the next table turned to me, and said "I was so afraid. I was afraid in my heart. They were lucky. So lucky". He grasped his heart as he repeated, for emphasis, that he was afraid in his heart.

I came home, and admixed two different samples from two members of the Absurd Music Exchange into one song,
which I altered a good bit to make sure it sounded like neither sample. I watched a show on television in which military operatives conducted a rescue mission. When my wife returned from her meeting, we watched Hurricane Rita news until we were saturated in storm. Today and tomorrow I complete many projects, to which I look forward.