Friday, April 2, 2010

Amelia Earhart and a life worth living

I have been spending so much time wondering what Amelia would miss most. I have been focusing on the details. First meal? That was a good one. First view of a world so changed it's almost unrecognizable. Lots of inventions that would fascinate someone whose life revolved around a faith in physics, and in human ingenuity. In real life, Amelia pressed forward. But what would you do, given a second chance. It's the doing that got me stuck. Yesterday I thought about what you wouldn't do. What you'd marvel at, if you could take a breath and stand back. If you weren't always pressing forward. If you could observe, and enjoy and just live.

That's what I think she gets a chance to do. She gets a chance to be happy. Now I'm not saying she wasn't, or that any of us aren't. But given an opportunity perhaps we would be able to be the ultimate tourist. I'm never happier than when I'm in a country where I am completely free of the needs, wants and endless frustrations of my own daily life.

I think she is that tourist today. Here, but not here. She gets to see my city when it wasn't sanitized, when it wasn't as rich or as safe as it is today. There was a great ticking heart at the center of that city, one that made me fall in love with it on a daily, even hourly basis. This is the gift she gets, to be anonymous for a moment, to take a breath and not be Amelia.


  1. I've never been to Newark. What does Amelia go see, besides of course Teterboro Airport?

  2. You haven't missed much believe me. I've been too many times. We have La Guardia and JFK for major airports; smaller ones include Westchester County and of course Teterboro. But right now I'm trying to move her forward incrementally. It is so gorgeous I have spring fever and it reminded me that life depends on certain small details . . .

  3. I love this post and the surprising last line, "This is the gift she gets, to be anonymous for a moment, to take a breath and not be Amelia." This is true in two senses- since she is coming back and not in the limelight, she has the freedom of anonymity, the freedom of not being Amelia. That must be a weight lifted off! And it's true in a second sense that is possible for us all and that we all feel from time to time- to take a breath and forget ourselves for a moment, to just be alive and free without a name. The name and personal history are there and we come back to them and continue to walk through our lives with all their complications. But it's good to have some spring fever and moments where we're even anonymous to ourselves in a way...Anonymous in the sense that we feel that there are hidden aspects to ourselves that remain undiscovered. Amelia has a unique vantage point, she is looking at everything freely and not lost in the momentum of "always pressing forward", as you say. Wouldn't it be good if we could all have a look at our lives from the outside, so to speak? Actually, I feel that your exploration of Amelia and allowing her to transcend the bonds of time in a way is helping me to do the same in looking at my own life. Thank you for this post.

  4. And thank you Colleen. Just outside remembering to forget, weeding in the garden, cleaning out the garage, walking in the sun . . .if only every day was filled with that, then again if it was I wonder if I or anyone would appreciate it as much.