Art Piece of the Week: Textures on Water by Shigeru Uchida for Studio 80.
Forgive me if this column is disjointed. Alas, time is but a sphere. Or, as Kian would say, a flat circle. Don’t get it twisted – this sh*t is not linear.
In 1931, Amelia Earhart sat and typed this letter to her fiancé on their wedding day. He had proposed to her 6 times before the woman with wings finally – and almost reluctantly – said Yes. Her hesitation wasn’t because she didn’t love him enough or enjoy his company. No, George was lovely, but it was the “attractive cage” of marriage that seriously ruffled her feathers.
First of all, go off Miss Amelia. If Amelia called the shots that clearly in 1931, we (and I say that genderlessly) better be doing it today. Stumbling upon her letter almost a century later, I was struck by how potent Amelia’s honest expression still is. Given the context of time, her audacity to demand autonomy within a government-stamped partnership is admirable. What’s even more inspiring is her assuredness, a timeless example for the masses. I can only imagine how loud her quiet, headstrong nature must have sounded as it reverberated into the world.
To be clear, this isn’t a feminist rant – the way she knew her needs and simply articulated them is a model of self-determination that can be of benefit to all of humanity. Her letter is a beautiful, strong-willed capture of the clarity and vulnerability that dreams and happiness are made of, and require.
Ultimately, happiness is choosing to author one’s own story. Architect the blueprint of dreams and navigate accordingly. To do that, one must know who they are and what they want to experience. Amelia knew those things. She knew the tenacity that her goals asked of her (AKA flying around the world) and she knew that compromising what mattered to her would not provide the grit to get her through inevitably tough times. After all, these were not flimsy desires. No, this was her life’s work and it needed clear structure.
This one-page letter illustrates so much about Amelia’s character that I’ll be holding onto and weaving into my own spirit. Here is a woman who knew how to commit to everything and give up absolutely nothing – above all, herself.
with love, Viv.