Friday, May 21, 2010

Did Amelia Earhart cry?

It was on this day, seventy-eight years ago, that Amelia Earhart flew solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She was only the second person, and the first woman, to do so.

Here is what I wonder:

Did Amelia Earhart, when the idea first struck her, think, "Oh, but that would be so much work!" and "I could never..." and "But nobody has..."?

When she sat there in Newfoundland, everything packed, about to take off, did she look out at the darkening sky and think, "What am I doing?!" Did her throat close in panic? Did she sweat?

Did she wish for a moment that she were at home with a cup of tea and a fantasy, instead of belted into a steel trap with a plan to defy logic and gravity and social convention?

Then, when gasoline leaked into her cockpit, when her plane suddenly dropped 10,000 feet, when fire shot out her exhaust pipe and the altimeter and the steering and EVERYTHING broke, did Amelia Earhart cry? Did she think, "I can't do this!" and want to curl up or collapse or call for Superman?

And if she did, if it turns out she wasn't as confident or as fearless or as much like "Amelia Earhart" as we think she was, if Amelia Earhart cried,

Then what does that say to the rest of us?

5 comments:

Michele Thornton said...

I love this post, Jacqui! I'd like to think she cried, and that through her tears she continued to do what all trained pilots do...try to keep aloft and alive. You should put this on the list of stories you need to write.

Jacqui said...

Michele, I think I'm going to, actually. Thanks!

cath c said...

i think it says she was just as human as the rest of us...which is usually the case with heros, until some writer gets a hold of the story. ;)

Jacqui said...

cath, darn writers...

Susanne Drazic said...

Great blog post Jacqui. I agree with Cath C. I think she was just as human as the rest of us.