I drove three hours each way to see Adrienne Rich a few weeks ago. I went with a woman that I have known for five years that at first I considered a young person that I indirectly worked with through my job and now see as a colleague and fellow feminist and literature enthusiast. She is walking and receiving her MFA in Creative Writing tomorrow.
Seeing Adrienne Rich was not what I had expected. I thought that she'd be tough and that I would feel totally inadequate as a lesbian and as a feminist. Like I hadn't done enough. Wasn't radical enough. That dreaded inner "enough." Instead I remember her calmness and appreciation for what is, all the while still challenging and questioning. I hope this is where I am at 80 years old.
My own questioning and challenging involved a temporary position that I sent on to as many people as possible. In this economy, I want to make sure people know about the few opportunities that exist. But, I couldn't just send that job description on and hit "delete." I reread it and sent out a little hint to the director that I thought it was a great position and would love it myself if only... To her credit, she responded and I will now be going back to another field that means the world to me, domestic violence work. Add an LGBTQ component and the fact that it is temporary and can therefore end when I start my PhD and the position is perfect! As if the stars aligned to make this opportunity appear for me. It's a drive away and I will need to spend a few nights away from my sweetheart but I already have friends willing to let me sleep on their futon until I figure this all out.
I am listening to my heart again. And there are wonderful people in this world that want to see a better world. I meet them every day.
These dandelions fit for me. They are considered obtrusive but they are really quite the opposite. They "nourish" as my neighbor said recently. The round globes of seeds have now dispersed for the year, settling into cracks in lawns. Some people will spray something on them next year when they flower. Then they will die. Other people will let them go to seed and spread once again. I love dandelions and can relate to them even though I still do not know quite why.
I am leaving an empty chair at work and that scares me. But my style has always been to make mutual decisions with those that I supervise and to share everything that is important for us to contribute as much as we can to the community. Whether or not I have been a model director, I don't know. I know that I have made a small contribution to the young people of my community and have followed a mission that believes that everyone has the right to make decisions for themselves. I stand true to that mission even as I prepare for my departure. Women need to make decisions for themselves and no government or ideology should stand in their way (Bless you Dr. Tiller.) I will continue to believe this as I prepare for my next challenge.