May 11, 2014

Steven Huff

INSPIRED BY FAILURES
(MY FAILURES, I MEAN, IN BUSINESS)

I took to voracious reading, finally learning what my friends
had known for decades. I read all the books I’d seen on their

shelves: St. Augustine, Meister Eckhart, and so on. I took the
night classes they’d already forgotten: TM, yoga, pranayama.

And like my friend John, I started building a light aircraft in my
back yard. There is no truth that does not include all truths, I said

to myself as I soldered, drilled and riveted wings. It was raining
and my family stood inside the window watching. The kind of

work we do does not make us holy, I called to them, but we
can make it holy
. But they probably thought I was talking

about the rain. Finally, I strapped myself into the little plane
and started it up. But instead of flying it caught fire. I barely got

free before it was engulfed, while the rain hissed the flames,
and my family watched. I’ve forgotten to mention that I’d taken

off all my clothes for this first flight. So, I was embarrassed, too.

from Rattle #25, Summer 2006