2011 HOF Speeches

Icarus’ Return – Wastepanel’s HOF speech



Homesick for homeland, Daedalus hated Crete                      
And his long exile there, but the sea held him.                  
“Though Minos blocks escape by land or water,”                  
Daedalus said, ” surely the sky is open,                        
And that’s the way we’ll go. Minos’ dominion                    5
Does not include the air.” He turned his thinking                
Toward unknown arts, changing the laws of nature.                
He laid out feathers in order, first the smallest,              
A little larger next it, and so continued,                      
The way that pan-pipes rise in gradual sequence.              10
He fastened them with twine and wax, at middle,                  
At bottom, so, and bent them, gently curving,                    
So that they looked like wings of birds, most surely.            
And Icarus, his son, stood by and watched him,                  
Not knowing he was dealing with his downfall,                  15
Stood by and watched, and raised his shiny face                  
To let a feather, light as down, fall on it,                    
Or stuck his thumb into the yellow wax,                          
Fooling around, the way a boy will, always,                      
Whenever a father tries to get some work done.                20
Still, it was done at last, and the father hovered,              
Poised, in the moving air, and taught his son:                  
“I warn you, Icarus, fly a middle course:                        
Don’t go too low, or water will weigh the wings down;            
Don’t go too high, or the sun’s fire will burn them.          25
Keep to the middle way. And one more thing,                      
No fancy steering by star or constellation,                      
Follow my lead!” That was the flying lesson,                    
And now to fit the wings to the  boy’s  shoulders.              
Between the work and warning the father found                  30
His cheeks were wet with tears, and his hands trembled.          
He kissed his son (Good-bye, if he had known it),                
Rose on his wings, flew on ahead, as fearful                    
As any bird launching the little nestlings                      
Out of high nest into thin air. Keep on,                      35
Keep on, he signals, follow me! He guides him                    
In flight-O fatal art!-and the wings move                        
And the father looks back to see the son’s wings moving.        
Far off, far down, some fisherman is watching                    
As the rod dips and trembles over the water,                  40
Some shepherd rests his  weight  upon  his  crook,              
Some ploughman on the handles of the ploughshare,                
And all look up, in absolute amazement,                          
At those air-borne above. They must be gods!                    
They were over Samos, Juno’s sacred island,                    45
Delos and Paros toward the left, Lebinthus                      
Visible to the right, and another island,                        
Calymne, rich in honey. And the boy                              
Thought This is wonderful! and  left  his  father,              
Soared higher, higher, drawn to the vast heaven,              50
Nearer the sun, and the wax that held the wings                  
Melted in that fierce heat, and the bare arms                    
Beat up and down in air, and lacking oarage                      
Took hold of nothing. Father! he cried, and Father!              
Until the blue sea  bushed  him,  the  dark  water            55
Men call the Icarian now. And Daedalus,                          
Father no more, called  “Icarus,  where  are  you!              
Where are you, Icarus? Tell me where to find you!”              
And saw the wings on the waves, and cursed his talents,          
Buried the body in a tomb, and the land                        60
Was named for Icarus.   

But Icarus was not dead. He was scared.
He had been free for a moment, but brought
back to Earth as fast as he was freed.
Icarus was a proud boy, and scared of
what Daedalus may think. “You silly boy!”
“Why did you not heed my warnings?”
Eventually, Icarus found his way back to Crete
Once there, he discovered many new faces
That were flying and free like he once was.
Icarus was in awe, and told them that it could not
be done. It was against nature, and they would
fail as he had as well. Why were they here in this jail?
“Man is not meant to fly like a bird. That is for Gods.
The sun will melt your wings and you will fail.”
A strong man with large wings named Loot
approached the young Icarus with rage.
“It can be done, my son. You were not smart.
You forgot you were man, and knew yourself
as a god. You did not fly. You were falling the
Moment you ignored your father. He warned you.
I will offer the same words of your father.
‘I warn you, Icarus, fly a middle course:
Don’t go too low, or water will weigh the wings down;
Don’t go too high, or the sun’s fire will burn them. 25
Keep to the middle way. And one more thing,
No fancy steering by star or constellation,
Follow my lead!’ That IS the flying lesson.
You flew alone before, but alone you’ll never be.
We return here before every flight
It reminds us that we will always be men.
Have a friend in shouting distance.
To get and give advice. This flight is your own.
If you need help, ask for it. We are men.”
So Icarus grew to be a man. He flew and never forgot.
Each day he returned to Crete. He found other men.
He entered his flight with a voice on his wing.
If he flew too high, he was given support.
If his support flew too low, he gave what he learned.
Icarus flew again, but never forgot that he was man.

I’d like to thank the core supporters of my quit: Eafman, Team, Moe, the Colonal, and the rest of you October Basterds. You guys rock. Let’s keep posting and never forget. St. Nic O Frees (December 2006)–I’m sorry. I should be at 1900 like you guys, but I forgot. Thanks for allowing me to return.

Post roll.
Stay quit.

NOTE: This piece written by KillTheCan.org forum member wastepanel

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