a piece inspired by my recent on-line writing class in which we were asked to write something inspired by recent headlines!
Traveling, I often feel encased in bubble wrap, as if, despite a glimpse of the snowy Connecticut hills that remind me I’ve traveled East, I could be anywhere, and this time, in the airports—Cleveland-Hartford-Hartford-Dulles-Cleveland—I do not see any television monitors, do not hear the news. My husband, chiding, occasionally inquires, “You getting your news from Facebook again?” Sometimes, I am. In the airport, right before I need to board my flight,I look up headlines just to see what is going on in the world. I read about hummingbirds--iridescent warriors, evolving to exist—like mothers, I think, snapping shut my laptop, like all women. We must evolve, keep pace, adapt. This morning, my Twitter feed is full of women in white, congresswomen in protest, nodding, in solidarity, to the suffragettes, who insisted that women be permitted to vote. Flawed, those suffragettes, certainly—mostly white and wealthy, they were not “intersectional,” did not even know what that word meant, but they refused to be ignored. But women of all classes did own white shirtwaists—there’s that, at least. Those feisty women made the world—men—take notice. They were the kind of indomitable visionaries who started schools like the one I lead. They were not nothing. And I wake, feeling cautiously optimistic about evolution, about change. I am afraid to read much more about hummingbirds because I adore them and maybe, after reading the whole article, I would hate or fear them. It’s not very brave to stop reading, to get my news from headlines and pictures. Some days, though, waking up in unfamiliar hotel rooms that smell musty and make me feel as if I am floating, untethered, it is my own best evolutionary—read, survival—practice. Did I pack anything white?