Another Way to Travel — Part 2
I’m out walking, looking for the sun. Rain and clouds have closed in the last few days. It seems that a blue sky is required to see it. There’s an irony. Quality of life needs blue support!
In addition to Mussel Beach Health Club, we joined the Commons Community Center. People work in shared space on the first floor and artists design and exhibit their art on the second floor. Jo Hay displays her paintings of “Persisters,” four by five-foot, larger than life portraits of women who are trailblazers pursuing justice in this country and beyond. As you look, you can feel the confidence in Nancy Pelosi’s face and the courage in Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s eyes. I go up most days and just sit and look at the Persisters. In Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s portrait by Hay it looks like she has taken on the world!
It’s Women’s Week, and P-Town is bursting with feminine excitement and events. I attended a discussion of the Voice of Feminism and heard some heart-wrenching stories of women marrying men because that’s what was expected. After children and facing their sexuality, they came out as lesbians. Many nodded in empathy. My story of not wanting to get married because I didn’t want to be a second-class citizen seemed superficial after that. I kept my mouth shut. I did learn that women identify as lesbians, gay, queer, or whatever feels right to them. No more rules.
The comedy workshop drew me in. You’re supposed to make one large circle with an idea and then a sphere of smaller circles around it with related words to plan your routine. At my turn, Poppy, she’s the leader, asked, “What’s your word, Elizabeth?” I hesitated, “Divorce, but it doesn’t sound funny anymore.” She asked, “Did you divorce a man or a woman?” I hesitated again, “A man.” She started saying something, but I didn’t hear her because I was looking around the room, thinking, I might be the only straight woman in this room. I was.
It turned out to be a great experience to have once in your life. I had to perform standup and used lots of material from my Catholic School days at Venerini Academy.
Last night Jenny Slate and Ben Shattuck read their stories at the library. The Provincetown Library is reflective of the creative culture of its residents. Unbeknownst to me, Jenny is quite a celebrity. Her presence brought out the young people in town, which is a treat because P-Town is aging. Jenny’s book is titled Little Weirds. One story recreated the beginning of time and the development of the patriarchy. Using sometimes silly words, she sold the idea of equality of women and men.
Ben, on the other hand, took us on a journey of Henry David Thoreau’s travels from Nauset Beach to P-Town in the 1840s. Ben replicated the walk last year. I asked him how it went over when he knocked on a door in Wellfleet to stay for the night. He apologetically said, “I have the privilege of being a white male.” Agreed! I walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain and would not have considered that.
Seems like I’ve been vacationing a bit. My Equal Rights Amendment essay wants equal time.
One more installment of this series is coming…