Her feat thus surpassed Lindbergh’s, but the acclaim was his. She also wrote an autobiography, West With The Night, which is one of my all-time favorites.
It occurred to me that writers have a lot in common with solo pilots who pursue this “lonely impulse of delight,” a term coined by Yeats to describe solo piloting, but one he could have as easily applied to his own life’s work. The ultimate flying experience seems to be that of the solo pilot. But for writers, there is no other way to work.
Yesterday Sally Ride, another pioneer female aviator, died from pancreatic cancer. Ride was the first American female in space. While we often think Americans were the sole pioneers in flight, many terms from aviation come to us from the French: including aviation, fuselage, and May Day, to name a few.
We have always been as intrigued by flight as we are mystified by the singular pursuit of a writing life, which many see as nothing more than the pursuit of failure. In that regard, there’s a lot of hot air out there about the lonely drunken writer. We don’t need any more hot air in the atmosphere. The oldest flying contraption was the hot air balloon, but the most rewarding profession is writing.