Monday, July 5, 2010

Courage

Sam and Karen Riding the Steel Hawg at Indiana Beach
July 2008 (photograph by Ben McCartney)

COURAGE
Courage is the price that
Life exacts for granting peace.

The soul that knows it not
Knows no release from little things:
Knows not the livid loneliness of fear,
Nor mountain heights where bitter joy
can hear the sound of wings.

Nor can life grant us boon of living, compensate
For dull gray ugliness and pregnant hate
Unless we dare
The soul's dominion.
Each time we make a choice, we pay
With courage to behold the restless day,
And count it fair.


poem by Amelia Earhart,
record - setting American aviation pioneer and author
(b. 1897 - declared dead in 1939, after
disappearing over the Pacific in 1937)

Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic and receive the Distinguished Flying Cross; she joined the renowned aviation program at Purdue University in 1935 as a visiting faculty member and career counselor.

*****

I can't imagine what it would be like to be as brave as Amelia!

Remember what Helen Keller said:
"Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run
than outright exposure. The fearful are caught
as often as the bold."

But I've never felt so sure about that.

Then there is this motto from Isak Dinesen
(and others before and after her):
"Be bold, but not too bold."

Okay, time to screw my courage to the sticking - place . . .

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