Monday, March 21, 2011

Would Amelia Earhart have an abortion? Would you?

Amelia would have. I don't have an iota of doubt. Abortion is still a hot button topic, the sanctity of life and so on. Do I believe in the sanctity of life? Really, come on, is that what this is about? Or is it about yet another gray area, one of the many life is full of? I agree that when a baby is conceived there is life of a sort. There's a being growing inside the mother's body, and by being I don't mean anything more. It depends on the mother then, on how she feels and what she wants. Having an abortion isn't often an easy decision, neither is choosing to have a baby, yet both decisions are made cavalierly. That's how it is. Human beings are often thoughtless. Should we take away the chance for some of them to make a better choice? To choose not to raise a child they don't want? Who is stepping forward to raise all those children? Newt Gingrich? John Boehner? Slowly but surely the right to an abortion is being chipped away. It makes me angry. And it makes me wonder why we have to even have this discussion. Women have a right to control the course of their own lives. They have a right to choose, and as for the sanctity of life? Please, have any of these people who claim that abortion is murder spent much time looking around at how many people die of abuse and neglect each day?

I believe that someone like Amelia, an ardent feminist, a woman who wanted more than anything to pursue her passion, would have no trouble choosing. She might feel regret. But she would also know that it was a choice, one that she would be glad to be able to make. Her sister claimed that she once said she would have liked to have children but didn't have the time. If one has the intelligence to understand their limitations,then by all means let's give them the opportunity to make an intelligent choice.

And yes, by the way, it is a plot point. . .

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Things Amelia Earhart knew and we are still learning: Part I

When she lived in Los Angeles Amelia Earhart attended an IWW meeting. For those who don't know or weren't born yet or didn't take 20th Century American History, the IWW or Wobblies were arguing for unions. For collective bargaining and fairness to workers. For pensions. For health care. For a living wage. It was apparently a revolutionary concept then and apparently it still is now. We have Republicans across the country deciding that small government means fucking the middle class big time. Who gains? The same people who gained back in the early twentieth century. The richest of the rich. Corporations, etc. Will we never learn?

Amelia Earhart thought that the IWW was making some excellent points. She wasn't anti-American, she was a thinking American, and she believed that this country was a place where everyone deserves a chance to get paid fairly for an honest day's work. Apparently we have learned nothing in the interim. See Wisconsin for further details. Maybe finally we have had enough? I hope so.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Time flies by so fast; or why Amelia Earhart haunts us

She is lost. Lost in time and lost forever. Humans love a mystery and this is one that endures. So little does, these days we live in a world where so much, maybe too much is revealed. Amelia remains out there in the ether, there's something wonderful about that when we live so practically and our lives unfold at such a breakneck speed.

Yes, that speed, that urgency . . .it's startling. But perhaps it's only that time compresses the older I get. Amelia returns in 1980, it was a pivotal year for me. Marriage, graduate school, a moment when I began to believe I could be an adult. But growing up and becoming an adult has taken much, much longer.

Driving down the Garden State Parkway yesterday I thought of the first time I came out with my parents to show them the house we would buy in the suburbs. My mother pointed out the deadly chemical plant on the way, (really just a pharmaceutical company). You know that spreads, she said, commenting on the smoke. I was pretty sure it spread back towards Manhattan too, only six miles away. But then my mother hated her children leaving, even if they were only moving twelve miles west. I had no sympathy for her, what was the big deal? So she wouldn't be able to get on a subway, she'd have to ride in a car. It wasn't like I was that far away.

She did ride in a car, or on a bus. She babysat my youngest when I ran off to work. But it wasn't easy for her, it was an adjustment. Parents have to adjust if they hope to have a relationship with their children. My own were so young then, five and almost three. Now they are eighteen and twenty three. One lives a continent away. The other is heading for college. My husband and I are going to be alone again as we were in 1980 when we decided it was time to marry. So much has changed, time does fly by so quickly, all the truisms are horribly true. I won't be able to look out the window and see my kids playing in the yard, I can't pick up the phone and call my parents, they're both gone, I can't even stay in this house forever, too big, too expensive, too ridiculous. Life marches on and drags us with it. Only Amelia is immune. She stares out from the pages looking eternally youthful, a little tired, a little shopworn, but smiling, always smiling for the camera.