Taking a walk across the beautiful, lush and verdant University of Virginia campus, I chanced upon The Aviator statue in front of Clemons Library, commemorating an airline pilot making dangerous, and ultimately tragic, runs in the first world war. I was immediately reminded of Icarus’ bold and tragic venture of flying into the sun and also Robert Browning’s lines:
Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what’s a heaven for?
This juxtaposition of things differing in time but carrying the same theme, the same message, is perhaps central to life itself: of this quest after something so impossible to attain but toward which we still propel ourselves.