Friday, November 14, 2008

Amelia (Joni Mitchell)

November 14, 2008
Finding Encouragement
Your True Inner Voice

Within each of us, there are numerous voices often that compete for our attention. It can be difficult to decide which one to listen to, particularly when their messages are all quite different, sometimes conflicting, and even alluring. One voice, however, is the speaker of truth. Among all your inner voices, your true inner voice is the one which encourages you, gives you hope, and pushes you to trust and believe in yourself. Conflict within oneself is often caused by dueling voices inside of each one of us. As we move through life, we get mixed messages from the various aspects of ourselves. Some of our voices, such as the naysayer or saboteur, can speak so loudly that they drown out the voice of truth. Listening to your true inner voice – often the voice of understanding, support, and self-assurance - can help lessen and even resolve internal conflict.

If you’re looking toward the future but your faith in your ability to succeed in life is wavering, you will benefit from finding and listening to your true inner voice. You can connect with it by remaining relaxed and alert, while listening carefully. If you have trouble distinguishing your true voice from the others, meditation may be helpful. You may hear many voices as you meditate, but the one you should pay attention to is the one that speaks to you with love, understanding, and compassion. It will bolster your spirits and urge you to go after your dreams. And it will never cause confusion, remind you of past mistakes, or cause you to doubt yourself.

The more you listen to and believe in what your true inner voice is telling you about your value and your potential, the stronger that voice will become. And the more you disregard the voices that can interfere with your resolve to succeed, the quieter those voices will become. Saying no to the voices that are judgmental and make you feel ashamed will help you stop being critical of your failures and afraid of success. By finding and strengthening your true inner voice, you will be able to ignore internal conflict and pick out the one that speaks the truth.

From Girls Like Us - Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon and the Journey of a Generation by Sheila Weller:

Between 1955 and 1957, [in] the women's pages of one of the Anderson's main local papers, the Leader-Post, ... was an inspiring poem by local poet Ella Davis, to a tougher heroine of a former era. The poem was simply called "Amelia", as if that first, distinctive name alone were enough to describe the brave aviatrix who had gone alone across the Atlantic Ocean. Davis praised her "high dreams" in "all out altitudes".

Did 13-year-old Joan Anderson (who was now defying Myrtle by sneaking out to the jazz-and-burlesque tent at the Mile Long Midway carnival) notice that the poem in the newspaper on that summer 1957 day and feel a stab of romantic identification? "Amelia": the intimacy of that first-name-alone as a title. "Dreams". "Altitudes". One wonders.

I googled my patootie off, but was unable to find Ella Davis' long-ago creation - however, I did stumble across what appears to be an amazing book of poetry (linked below), of which I'll be ordering two copies (one for my friend Laurie and one for myself):

Navigate, Amelia Earhart’s Letters Home, Rebecca Loudon’s chapbook from No Tell Books, is saddle-stitched with a glossy cover, with radiant art by Stacy Elaine Dacheux depicting a watercolor version of Amelia Earhart with her arms out and paper airplanes sailing overhead. In a move reminiscent of Jane Mendelsohn’s novel, I Was Amelia Earhart, which imagined Earhart’s life trapped on a deserted island after crashing her plane on her infamous last flight, Loudon’s whimsical collection details the imagined ephemera at the end of Amelia Earhart’s life. The writer inhabits Earhart’s persona so intensely you have to remind yourself that these are not artifacts from the aviatrix’s real life. For those of you already familiar with Loudon’s work, never fear: the collection lacks none of Loudon’s trademark ferocity, vivid, dream-like narratives, and dark humor.

Joni's song lives on forever - for my 50th birthday party at the now-defunct Main Street Cafe (so sad), I asked Laurie to open the show with 5 songs (a Joni, a Dar, a Dave Carter and a Buddy Mondlock, as well as one of Laurie's originals), and I chose Amelia for the Joni selection. I can't imagine any woman not relating to the feeling of wanderlust, translated so beautifully and achingly through Joni's intense lyrics and mournful guitar - after experiencing a broken heart, who hasn't wanted to just get in the car and go... destination unknown?

P.S. FYI - SMM...

SONG: Amelia by Joni Mitchell

Navigate, Amelia Earhart's Letters Home by Rebecca Loudon, illustrated by Stacy Elaine Dacheux

I Was Amelia Earhart by Jane Mendelsohn

POEM: Where are you Fred? by Rebecca Loudon

the bright sea
you punched my arm
you said the fuel tanks
bubble with champagne

I want to tell you how it felt
falling and knowing
what a bad idea it was
to have decided against the parachutes

ha ha

I was a seed pod tumbling
thought I could flap my arms
shout your name and Snook’s
join hands like synchronized swimmers

Forever yours,
Amelia Mary Earhart

QUOTE: "You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky." ~ Amelia Earhart

"Pilots are a rare kind of human. They leave the ordinary surface of the word, to purify their soul in the sky, and they come down to earth, only after receiving the communion of the infinite." ~ Jose Maria Velasco Ibarra


  1. ahhh, our True Inner straining to hear it. How is your sabbatical going, Susan?

  2. Hey, Catherine ~

    Yeah... sometimes it seems as if that True Inner Voice is leading us exactly where we need to be... and other times, it is nowhere to be found - ack!

    Sabbatical sounds so much better than lay-off, doesn't it? - I really am trying to make the most of this time inside my home, doing lots of catching up and re-organizing.

    How in the world did I do it all before, with a full-time job?!? - I don't take this breathing space for granted, as I know it's short-lived... but I'm loving it (thanksforasking... <3 )