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.