Site Meter Peculiar Susceptibility: Amelia Earhart

Monday, July 2, 2007

Amelia Earhart

I start my days like this:

1. I realize that I'm awake and try to hold onto those first thoughts of the day (lately they've been ideas for course syllabi). I try not to write during these first 15 or so minutes of consciousness, but just to think, to be available to my thoughts. (This is not to suggest that my thoughts are particularly grand, just that I like the exercise of respecting the process.)
2. I make my bed.
3. I feed the cat.
4. I turn on the kettle.
5. I read the New York Times (or, at least, parts of it).
6. I write.
7. I reluctantly drag myself from my desk, away from whatever I've been writing, in the the this-and-that of my day.

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In today's New York Times the editors noted that 70 years ago today, Amelia Earhart's plane went down. I've been thinking about her all day long: about how surprised I was that she had a husband, about how beautiful those last moments staring into the blinding sun must have been, about how people might have read her independence. I wondered if she really ever picked lemons with William Randolph Hearst. I wondered if she downed her plane intentionally. I wondered if it was all too beautiful to bear.

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Her husband spoke calmly from the Oakland Airport, where he was waiting to meet her, of how the empty fuel tanks would make the plane bouyant.

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1 comment:

Meghan Maguire Dahn said...

What Amelia Earhart wrote to GP on the night before their wedding (in Noank, CT!):

"You must know again my reluctance to marry. I want you to understand I will not hold you to any medieval code of faithfulness to me, nor shall I consider myself bound to you. I must exact a cruel promise: that is you shall let me go in a year if we find no happiness together."

He accepted her terms. They wed. After the ceremony she removed the ring and never wore it again.