Friday, 22 August 2008



I attended a lecture by a lady so articulate, interesting and beautiful that she had to speak twice to accommodate the numbers. We were all charmed and none more so than I because I approached afterwards and asked her to lunch. She declined of course but gave me her e-mail address which I took to mean: Persuade me!

I called forth all my creative powers in composing that e-mail, describing her speech as a well-fletched arrow that hit its target; and again I asked her to lunch. To my amazement SHE SAID YES! She told me later that the word fletch was the deciding factor–that she had to look it up and was intrigued to meet someone who would use the word.

It was a memorable lunch for me because she was as easy-spoken and charming in person as at the lectern. She was associated with the University of course; her field and passion is journalism. The irony of being interviewed by a string-of-questions note taker seemed to amuse her. At lunch’s end I had lots of notes and only a bare outline of what I really wanted to know: what forces and fortune produced so clear and confident a woman. On another level, I must confess, I wanted to experience the rush of being in her presence. It came!

I asked for another contact but she was off to eastern Europe on a lecture tour instructing the freshly-free journalist of Czechoslovakia in the art of going for the truth.

When she returned she graced me with three more interviews and even came to cheer me during my Whitman performance.

I hope that I have made the most of this opportunity to engage an Amazon—for I believe they represent future woman in the same way that Mary Wollstonecraft, Susan B Anthony, Isadora Duncan and others modeled personal and reproductive freedoms enjoyed by today’s women.

Webster defines amazon as a powerful woman and she did not object to being so described.
While their lives are far more adventurous than most, there are problems. Relations with men are problematical, primarily because men run away. To romantically reach for an Amazon is like reaching for the brass ring on the carousel –it is risky. Men feel it and most do not reach. Those who do and manage to move into their orbit, often cannot bear the contrast of a superior mind. She asked once if I thought she was smarter than me. In a flash of bravado I said that I was smarter than her. She laughed a long while.

In part two of engaging an Amazon I will share with you what I have learned–all that she will permit. Of particular interest to me is her own speculations as to what gives rise to strong women. Is it genes or superior child rearing or just bootstrapping? How do Amazons relate with regular women. Is an Amazon just too independent to mate? What’s a thinkable alternative?
Do they have time for children? How has it affected me to be in her orbit?

Forgive me if I celebrate my courage in asking this lady to lunch. Stay tuned!

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