Mona delivered up another one unto us, her humble challengees. A word that, like many English words has more than one meaning.
So, in the spirit of one word with several meanings may I present for your elucidation and entertainment a collection of little bits that have been rattling around in my pockets for some time now. None of them are big enough to use by themselves but all together they make up about enough to buy a Coke-flavoured Icee at the corner store.
I used to love to watch "Wings" on the Discovery Channel, specifically the “Wings Of The Luftwaffe” episodes. Call it a mild obsession, call it what you will, I simply enjoyed learning about those magnificently-engineered flying machines. Like Burgess’ title character in A Clockwork Orange, however, I became behaviourally trained. Images inextricably linked in my mind to a piece of music, I was set up like Pavlov's pooch. The producers of the episodes must have thought it clever to play background music from a famous German composer while showing vintage film footage of these German aircraft dog-fighting, dropping bombs, and in turn being turned into balls of flaming debris by Allied fighters.
Now I cannot hear the second movement of Ludwig van Beethoven's Pathetique without seeing Messerschmitt Me 109 fighters firing their guns into slow-moving formations of Allied Flying Fortresses, or Heinkel HE-111 bombers dropping their payload of death over grainy, black-and-white towns. Hearing the Ninth Symphony’s opening bars brings to my mind juddering grey images of baby-faced airmen carefully fueling experimental Luftwaffe aircraft, pumping in liquids so dangerous that the crewmen risk being engulfed in flame, much as the waiting townspeople will be when this craft appears overhead.
Don’t You Go Changing
Prince Barin: I've changed.
Princess Aura: I've changed, too.
Zarkov: [Successfully picks the electronic door lock] A-ha! I knew it was one of the prime numbers of the Zenith series. I haven't changed.
In a motherly-stern but carefully nonthreatening tone the overhead announcement said “Unattended vehicles will be towed.”
“Unattended vehicles will be toad” said the echo.
I wondered if my vehicle was parked precipitously close to an amphibian as I boarded the shuttle. The driver called out in a weary sing-song “Airport shuttle, last stop, Concourse A, all change.” Finding a seat between two harried travelers I wondered if he knew just how right he was.
You Cannot Step In The Same River Twice
I feel like I don’t change, that time doesn’t affect me, that I’m still the same person I used to be five, ten, twenty years ago but I know I’m wrong. I can’t help but change, none of us can help it, cannot even lift a finger to slow the process. I used to feel I was like a boulder set in the river, unchanging, unaffected. I’m good at thinking things about myself that are patently wrong, though. I’m certain I’m not changing when the river is steadily wearing away at me, even more patient that the stone I feel I am. Slowly, so slowly I can’t even see it I’m being ground down into sand, left there in the river bottom in a pale swath until one day the water will flow on, it’s surface undisturbed by the rock that used to sit there.