Thursday, 15 October 2009

Come Fly with Me

Thanks are in order before I begin this post. Three lovely ladies graced me with sweet awards on the sidebar, Shell, Vanessa and Lori, your blogs are unique and I thank you for the warmth and sweetness you bring here. Do check out their blogs if you have not already. Now, for mentioning something about me not mentioned before (as asked):

I would like to share a private dream with you - as yet unfulfilled;
I've always wanted to fly. Preferably in a small plane, over Africa, Asia, anywhere that is rich with landscape, colour and wonder. To be a skilled aviatrix is something I don't see happening for a while, time being one reason. But sometimes the dream catches me softly and I allow myself to smile in its familiar hold.

I want to know what it is like to control and master a delicate and precarious engine. I want to know the feeling of human melding with wing and horizon until you are one motion. Most of all I seek the dream of soaring skillfully, as if I was born in the air.

Dear all, how to describe why I am always touched by this film sequence, where even the tiny screen does it some justice. If you get goosebumps and your heart swells, I understand. From the overhead view of Africa to John Barry's golden music, this is beauty designed to make every human ache.

May I present to you three aviatrix (except Amelia, I intend to write a post for her alone) who were not only capable of all of the above but were TRUE examples in their courage, dedication and quest for adventure. These are real pioneers. They had no publicists, pop songs or photoshopped spreads, they were only themselves. Lovely.

A brilliant and feisty girl from Texas, who after being denied flying lessons because of her colour, saved and travelled to France in 1921, where they allowed women and African-Americans to obtain the difficult international pilot's license. She was the first American woman to gain it. She returned to The States, aged twenty-nine, to much acclaim and continually worked hard to be a flyer, activist and lecturer across the country. The first African-American aviatrix proclaimed, "I refused to take no for an answer".

This was true for Elly Beinhorn-Rosemeyer (see last post). She started off as an only child with a thirst for life and a desire to break through the city walls surrounding her. Long distance-flying became her dream despite opposition. In 1931, aged twenty-three (two years after gaining her license) she flew solo from Europe to Africa, carrying a mosquito net and water. On her return to Germany, she pointed to an Atlas and said that she would like to try, "Somewhere on the right"; this was Elly. She then flew over Mt. Everest, Bali and Australia then returned to the African coast, the last time with her husband. She turned in her license aged seventy-two voluntarily, knowing she had tasted her dreams.

Imagine the early days of aviation. You are like Columbus in a small drag plane. All you have is a compass and basic instruments. In front is an open cockpit window and no roof. The wind rushes past your face, bellowing at you, as you lift and lift higher into the air. Surrounding you is the sky, intimate and vast.

Ascha Donnels, Californian aviatrix, remembered on her ninety-ninth birthday:
“I could imagine that I was sitting on the edge of a cloud, looking out over the whole world. In those days there was no smog, and you could smell the fragrances of oranges, whatever you were flying over, at all altitudes."

Achsa: “I had no sense of fear. In fact…when they learned about it (first flight), my family said I had no sense, period.”

I wonder what it was like; below you have left not only reality as you know it, but the thoughts of the age. Very few people if any believe you should be up there. To them a woman in jodhpurs is hideous, let alone a woman in a plane. They cannot believe your choice and yet, some of them admire you for it. A lonely place is knowing you are doing the right thing although few understand.

But up in the air, the wind is knocking the truth back into you, "It doesn't matter" and it really doesn't. You are electrified and more free than most on this planet. You inhale adventure and light. The engine roars its encouragement, you go higher, "This is the world and I am its dove". Everything seems minute below, but you feel oddly protective of it, somehow more enchanted. It is true that distance makes the heart grow... not fonder, but aware of good.

I think that flight taps into our consciousness in a manner few things can match. On the one hand, it is spectacular to roam the planet as a winged being.

On the other hand, it serves as metaphor: Striving and reaching higher than you thought possible; facing oneself at a dizzy height; finally, mapping your journey and taking charge of destiny. Wherever it takes you, at least you follow a map and compass. So this is my dream to be one with the sky and use my compass wisely. I hope you have enjoyed your flight.



Heavenly Housewife said...

Fab post as always daaaahling, I hope you get your wish to fly :)

Manju said...

You can still make that dream come true and try for a pilot license ;) wud be so cool!

Purple Flowers said...

This is THE BEST post I have ever read. There are no words left for me to write. You've written it all.
And I thank you, my friend.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Oh, you should do it!! I am quite certain you could learn and there are classes everywhere! Listen, if I can learn to knit as an...*ahem* you can learn to fly. Admittedly a more daring goal, but still. I say go for it.

Laurel said...

Wow - You are just the coolest person evber:) I think that flying is a spectacular pursuit. You will soar above the clouds sooner than later. I love the stories of the other brave women also. You are my favorite brave woman :)
Love and gratitude for all things that provide clarity:)
Love Love Love L

OceanDreams said...

I always love your posts, so encouraging and I always learn a bit of history! I love flying and would love to have my BF take me flying in that sort of would be truly amazing!

Clarity said...

Your confidence is invigorating and I thank you, love, X
Tempted, yet...

Purple Flowers, no I haven't and you know it :), thank you so much x.
Laurel, love your compliment dear and you more, x.
Oceandreams, do it, I would enjoy hearing of your experience flying.

Dumdad said...

Fascinating blogpost: I enjoyed your flight of fancy! I think I'm too much of a coward to go up in one of those tiny planes although I'm sure it would be an exhilarating experience.

P.S. Thanks for flying over to my blog.

Honor Woodard said...

You have shared some wonderful wisdom here from these amazing ladies. I know, since your dream is true, that if you set it in motion the world will rise to meet you and it will all fall into place. Can't wait to see your posts from the sky.

Bits I love in here are: “I could imagine that I was sitting on the edge of a cloud, looking out over the whole world. In those days there was no smog, and you could smell the fragrances of oranges, whatever you were flying over, at all altitudes."and "A lonely place is knowing you are doing the right thing although few understand."

Thanks, as always, for showing us your inspirations.

Anonymous said...

Oh God, I'm such a whimperer, your post made m cry. And my dear, your writingskills amaze me. I'm totally blown away, honestly!! And the metaphor...(speechless).
Thank you so much for this absolute superb post, XXX, Carmie. (I'm so proud of you!!!)

Renee said...

Sweet Clarity sometimes there is nothing I would rather do than learn something I know absolutely nothing about. And that is what happened here today.

You are so amazing and how carefree to be up in the sky.

I love you.

Renee xoxo

un bel oiseau said...

oh so cool. i feel like saying, these are real women! im guessing you are eagerly waiting for the amelia movie to come out!

my dad took flying lessons once in a little cessna (sp?) and ended up flying over our house, so we all ran outside into the yard and waved and jumped so he could see us. he loves air planes. i love air planes. my parents got engaged on the tarmac of Boston's Logan airport. they now live next to Hanscom airforce base.

its a lot of love :)

TheChicGeek said...

That was a beautiful and inspiring post, Clarity! And what a lovely fly...not only physically, but as in a metaphor of to fly in life, release our fears and let our dreams soar! I believe one day you will fulfill your dream of flying. That was so beautifully have left a very big smile on my face and good dreams in my heart!

I am almost finished with sneaking over to say hello. I should be back on Sunday! I miss everyone but I have been having a wonderful time while I have been away.

See you soon, Clarity! Thank you for the gift of your beautiful post today :D
Hugs <3

Dustjacket Attic said...

Fantastic post about some seriously amazing women. Bravo to them.

re comment It was a Rochas fitted silk jacket and skirt from Barney's New York.

Lovely weekend to you,

Lori ann said...

How lovely was the video and this post? I believe your dream will come true, your desire so strong.

I too love flying only I would rather not be behind the controls. In the small bush planes we flew around Africa I would always get tears (of joy) so I would not make a very good pilot, not being able to see too well!

No worries Clarity about the postcards, or even snaps, only if you want. You can describe instead, i am happy with anything, certainly no expectations here. Have a blissful weekend.
lori ♥

Lori ann said...

P.s. that is one of my favorite soundtracks too. I love the movie so much that on my first trip to Africa, my husband (then boyfriend) planned a surprise visit to Karen Blixen's house, now a museum. A beautiful memory.

Jacqueline said...

A really interesting post about wonderfully brave and pioneering women. I know that it won't be long before we are reading a post about your first flying lesson. XXXX

Jennifer said...

Amazingly beautiful! THis post really spoke to me, I love the portion about the lonely place of knowing you are doing the right thing...the whole thing was delicious though. Thank you for sharing this. I have an fear of heights that I can't describe, but reading this put being in the air in a whole different light.

Elisa Day said...

I love this post. I have a dream about becoming a helicopter pilot. I understand you. I love the voice of Morten in A-ha. I say it was made for my soul.

Couture Carrie said...

Gorgeous and inspiring post, darling!
Congrats on your awards too!


Clarity said...

I'm pleased that you are feeling the flight of fancy dears.

Honor, thank you, I agree with putting things in motion too. Makes me think.
Carmie, you darling, xxx

Renee, love you too and your strength is a lesson.

Bel and Elisa, glad to find that about you two as well!

Chicgeek, thank you deeply. For seeing and understanding the connections which are everywhere.

Lori, lovely, she was an extraordinary woman and a special writer, that is a sweet surprise.

Jacquie - I hope so.

Jennifer - LOVE that you can see it in a new light, that moves me.

Merci, CC, xx.

Modern Crush said...

A VERY noble goal indeed. And what inspiration! Can you imagine what it must have been like flying and taking in the scent of everything like Ascha said. AMAZING. Very very thought provoking!

Cheryl Lynn said...

Once again, you've taken us to a place of wonder. This was an amazing post. So much information about our herstory as women with purpose. Truly inspiring.

Have a wonderful weekend. You should be able to get to the elephants again! Haha!

Corinna White Charlton said...

oh i definitely enjoyed the flight through your post! The video clip was phenomenal. Goosebumps, check. What a freedom to soar like that; the world seems to pause as our eyes just soak in the new perspective. i started lessons to become a missionary pilot, but the time/cost/danger/mathematics drew me away. But being flow by someone else would be just as lovely. especially with aviator goggles in an open air plane over Africa! thank you for sharing this dream with us. i believe we should never stop dreaming.

Debra said...

Dreams do come true-and I wish for you that this one does. Beautifully done. Thank you for your sweet comment- and if you ever find yourself in Maine-I will make you wonderful, thick chowder.
Hold that dream.

Debra said...

P.S. Please email me your address and I will send the pumpkin bread recipe-along with some other favorites.

Renee said...

Thank you love for the picture. I loved it.


Keith said...

Hey there. I hope this finds you doing well. I also hope you've had a great weekend so far. Take care. Have a nice week. Cheers!

Anika said...

I love your writing in this tugged at my heartstrings and made me remember my days back in Africa. There's nothing quite like the African landscape, nor is there anything quite as emboldening as your dream/vision.

I hope you can make it happen.

p.s. speaking of bold adventure, I read "Slow journey south" by Paula Constant recently...she and her husband walk from London to Cape Town in South Africa, and the description of the different countries and cultures and experiences left me with a very strong desire to do something of the sort....well, maybe not the walking...but definitely the adventure of spending lots of time living with and embracing all the different cultures and what they involve.

have a lovely week, my dear :) said...

Oh, Clarity, Clarity,

You are such a unique and marvelous escape from the mundane and the boring. Your blog is absolutely wonderful.

Every time you visit me I think what a compliment it is to me. "Couture Mice" -- too funny.

Just realized I didn't even see your "followers" sidebar. I'm always so wrapped up in you. Now I'm on -- hurrah for me.

OceanDreams said...

Hi, I am back again to answer your questions. I got the grainy effect in my header by using Photoshop. If you are familiar with the program you can use different layers and decrease the visibility (sorry - don't know the correct term) of them...well I simply found a picture of a "texture" and layered it on other textures...try googling it and it will you different textures, just layer them on top of one another and you should get a grainy effect. Just make sure you choose a grainy texture. Let me know if you have any questions!

Micki said...

I hope that one day you do get to fly yourself. The video was wonderful, as was the whole post.

VictoriaArt said...

Clarity, you honor your name.... Sucy clarity in your thinking and expressing all these difficult to express ideas, feelings and asperations.
Keep working on your dreams, they do come true.
Love as always ~Victoria

PS: Thanks for writing your friendly comment, regarding the picknick picture I pulled it out from one of the British shelter magazines, looking at the date most likely September issue of'09. Elle Deco or House and Garden. I am sorry, can't find more info about it. It was a small picture and I am glad you like it!

Anonymous said...

Elly is quite a wonderful woman. How few of us have the guts to do something so thrilling.....

willow said...

Go for it, girl! Your post reminds me how much I want to see the new Earhart movie.

Clarity said...

Modern Crush, thanks, Ascha really pushed me to imagine that.

Cheryl Lynn, thank you! They were a mix of women with similar attitudes and thus goals.

Corinna, wow! you've flown, I understand if it wasn't for you.

Debra, thank you! and who could resist such a tempting offer?
Thank you Renee, love, x.
Keith, welcome, yours too.

Anika, I'm touched that it took you back and I agree completely. Thank you for the book recommendation, sounds fantastic.

Tish, so charmed, thank you for that, xx.

Micki, thanks and I'm glad you enjoyed the video too.

Victoria, that is extraordinary, thank you for being supportive and lovely.

Ewix, agreed, I liked her atlas pointing, how bold?

Willow, welcome and I HAVE to find out more about this film on Amelia. I would write a piece on her or a documentary.

Inspiration in Italy said...

I found your blog on the comment section of Fabuleux's blog, and you caught my eye because you said you love cake and waterfalls. Those are 2 of my most favorite things!! I love your blog, and this blog post was very inspiring. Anything is possible :)


Jeanne said...

Thanks for your visits and kins words........
Learn to fly
Spread your wings and soar.......
Love Jeanne

Barbara said...

This is a lovely post. I so enjoyed reading and learning. Some day, I hope your dream will come true.
I just finished a book called West with the Night by Beryl Markham. Rather an impowering book about flying. If you haven't read it, you might like it.

Chessa! said...

what an inspiring post. thank you so much for sharing your dream with us.

Phoenix said...

Okay, we should TOTALLY be friends; a) I loved this post and will be following your blog as soon as I finish leaving this comment, b) you are a fantastic writer, and c) you posted about one of my favorite poets, ee cummings, and one of my favorite poems of his.

Done and done. Nice to meet you, new bff! :)

The Haute-Shopper said...

I've always had the dream to fly, but more like a bird than in a plane, where I"d have to depend on the technology of the aircraft. Of course since that won't happen, I can definitely see the appeal in wanting to fly in a plane (I'd choose a smaller one, over a giant Boeing 747, which would generally be on auto-pilot anyway). Terrific post and you should pursue flying if that's a dream of yours!

Clarity said...

Welcome Rachel, pleased you like my favourites too.

Jeanne, thank you and I shall try.

Barbara, thank you. As for Beryl's, I've wanted to find a first edition of that book for ages!

Thank you, Chessa.

Phoenix, you had me giggling and nodding, hello new friend.

Haute S, you should try it too, a pseudo bird if you will. Thanks for the encouragement.

Hello Lindello said...

You are so brave. I loved reading about all the heroic females. I fly all the time for work and I'm always so nervous. My husband and I did take a small plane ride last winter and I still cant believe he talked me into it. Never again!

Amy said...

Oh Clarity, this is such a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your dream and the accomplishments of three inspiring women.
I can understand your desire to fly over Africa and anywhere else. I have only been in a plane a few times but loved the view out the window. I can't imagine how spectacular it would be to be able to fly a much smaller plane to amazing heights.

I believe you can do it and I hope you do my friend!
~ Amy

Phoenix said...

ok, new BFF (how do you change sheets and type at the same time? Can you teach me that??), I just perused your July post of ten facts about yourself. Seriously? How come we have so much in common?

I also say I'm an optimistic realist, hah!; I am well-traveled for my age (but I got nothing on your 40 countries, yikes I'm jealous); I choose my friends carefully as well, but I also make them very, very quickly (I go off of instinct and chemistry, not time span); I don't drink either; and I'm also a city girl who loves, loves, loves nature.

I'm gathering from your blog that you're British? I spent half a year in London in college and it was the best six months of my life... :)

VictoriaArt said...

Dearest Clarity, one more thing: I pass on the Kreativ Blogger Award to you, your creativity is all in your thinking and putting it so admirably into words, sound and pictures!
PS: Forgive my spelling mistakes!!!
Love -Victoria

indigotangerine said...

I've always wanted to fly too! It's not a profession i'm interested in but it sounds like so much fun.

The Anthology said...

While you're off flying, I'll be on the ground waving and cheering you on. Heights just aren't my thing ;)

But traveling sure is. So as long as someone else is flying the plane, I'm a-okay.

* Kelsey

LadyFi said...

A very inspiring post! And such inspiring women...

May your dreams come true!

vicki archer said...

A wonderful post...a romantic dream that you must fulfill...xv

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

What an awesome flight you have just taken me on with this post Clarity!!! I absolutely adore the John Barry soundtrack for Out of is music that speaks to my Soul...along with that other moving masterpiece of his... Dances With Wolves!! Have a lovely rest of the week...Love and Peace to you Dear One♥x

Anonymous said...

This is such an excellent post. You really explain flying in such a deeply emotional and intimate way. Thank you so much for posting this.

Anonymous said...

When I was a child I had a friend whose mother was a stunt-aviatrix, and a member of a famed Canadian team of wing walkers. I was hugely impressed, needless to say.

My 2nd wife was desperate to get her pilot's licence, and she did solo. But, because she had MS they wouldn't let her get a licence. It was a huge disappointment to her.

Barbara said...

Found your blog by reading your comment to Heavenly Housewife.

Re: flan: 2 cups of pumpkin refers to 2 measuring cups. I used canned pumpkin.

RE: flying: I think the Markham book was mentioned by NPR- maybe it made their summer reading list, which I like to peruse. I read it in paperback form. Imagine you could check Amazon for collector's editions- usually those are first editions.

Keep dreaming!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

So ambitious- and you can do it! Those pictures are incredible...

Clarity said...

HL and Amy thank you, I cannot say enough about Africa, so I won't.

Phoenix dear, I'll let you know! Fantastic that we share similar interests/thoughts.

Thank you for the award Victoria, love your kind words that are spelled beautifully.

Thank you Vicki and Lady Fi. Indigo, I hope you begin too.

Dzintra, yes, the music, it lifted the lanscape somehow. John Barry is unique, original and prolific.

Des, great compliment, I thank you.

MrWriteon. The stunt aviatrix, spectacularly brave. I am sorry they couldn't give your wife her licence. I hope that some day she flies again.

Phoenix said...

Ah, the old "make the bed with one hand and type with the other" trick. I'll have to try that. First things first, I have to learn to multitask better, I suppose :)

I stayed in Kensington in the spring of 2001 for college at American Institute for Foreign Study, and I loved every minute of it, as I got to travel on the weekends and trip down the streets of London for an entire half a year. I love London probably more than any other place on this earth :)

Ivy said...

I did fall off the face of the earth...but not for long and now I am back and catching up with your breathtaking blog :)

Amy said...

This is a great post. I knew of Amelia but not of these other great woman. When I was younger I got to ride in a small two seater plan my Uncle used to fly. It was so amazing to be able to fly above the trees and over my parents home. I hope you reach your dream one day!

Thank you so much for your comments and visiting my blog. I think our tastes are equally eclectic (I have to be in the mood for the Murphys too - great live shows though) I'm envious you live in London. I visited a few years back and have longed to move there.

Renee said...

Come on over I'm having a giveaway.

Love Renee xoxo

Dan said...

You can do it - learning to fly s pretty simple. The other option is to do it from the passenger seat - that way you don't have to concentrate on flying. {*grin*}

Thanks for dropping by.

la flore et la faune . com said...

Very interesting post.
You asked me about Paulette on my blog : actually she's the recurrent character of the blog. A very chic and politically incorrect parisian lady.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Beautiful post!

I so empathize with 'A lonely place is knowing you are doing the right thing although few understand' and then '"It doesn't matter". This is so true! And the only satisfaction. Which I why my life motto is 'Stick your neck out for your dreams!'

I'm going to read more of your fascinating blog now ...

Thank you for your lovely comment on mine.

NicNacManiac said...

Dreams do come true...great post!!
The thing is a 'Goat cheese stuffed pork tenderloin with red wine balsamic with cherries!! You make me laugh and the rustic pies are available at!
Have a fabulous evening!! xOxO

Laurel said...

Hi Sweetie- yes restauranting it will be! Can't wait!
xxoo- sorry about pillow- it is horrible :)

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Clarity...perfect that you say that the music lifted the landscape...I shall think of this next time I put the soundtrack on!!! Love♥x

Janet said...

Thank you for popping by my post! I found yours quite inspiring and look forward to more!

Hanako66 said...

such inspiring stories!

Renee said...

I respect everything you want and so if you win I will PIF to my mother of all people. har har.

Love Renee xoxo

highlandwriter said...

Lovely posting.

Have you read West with the Night by Beryl Markham?


Fifi Flowers said...

Beautiful photos from the cockpit!