I’m not sure many people have heard of Audrey Winthers. She was the editor of British Vogue during WW II. She commissioned Cecil Beaton, the acclaimed photographer and designer, to photograph a model against the ruins of a bombed out church in London.
She made an appearance in the magazine not in some glamorous cafe but in the basement of the magazine’s temporary office, amide shattered glass and peeling walls. She was determined to tell her audience about the food shortages and clothes rationing alongside pictures of country houses.
She believed it was simply not modern to be unaware or uninterested in what is going on all around. She suggested people harvest their own vegetables, stock preserves, and, rather than shop, to “mend and make do” with items already in their wardrobes. Pretty progressive for an editor of a fashion magazine.
She presented the world as it was at a time that was not what people wanted to see or to read about. But she felt it was her mission to inform her audience not only of the beauty of the world but also the reality of war. Quite brave for then and even now.
Recently we celebrated the 100 year anniversary of the women’s right to vote. It was a hard-won battle for 80 years until finally in August of 1920 the law was passed. One of the senators from Tennessee who was to be the deciding vote finally voted yes after a letter from his mother told him to “be a good boy”. She encouraged him to do the right thing and give women the well deserved right they had been fighting for.
In this pandemic, five countries with the least amount of cases of the coronavirus are all lead by women. And now we have an African Asian American woman running for Vice President of the United States.
If there is any time better than to be a rebel and a woman I say the time is now. Bring it on.
They were born here and are just teenagers right now. They hang out together and are determined to venture out into the world and experience what life has to give them with no expectations or promises. They will do the best they can.
It seems birds are showing up everywhere to teach some valuable lessons. The Wall Street Journal recently published an article about how bird watching is becoming very popular for its therapeutic qualities. Then I just viewed a story on CBS Sunday Morning about David Allen Sibley who is a renowned ornithologist and illustrator. He has written and illustrated many books on the birds of North America.
And if that wasn’t enough someone recently won an opportunity to have their book published on, you guessed it, birdwatching and its healing properties. Seems like the trend is grabbing us to say stop and look around. The author said to look up at the flutter of color to find solace and guidance from our feathered friends.
So back to my doves. This is the second group of doves this year that has been born in my yard and although I enjoyed the first siblings I have really noticed this second pairing. I have gone out of my way to watch their whole journey from birth to teenagers to young adults flying away to start their new life. I wished they would like to stay forever as I did for my son but I know that I have to let go and let them fly.
“Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better. I do believe I have been changed for the better. And because I knew you I have been changed for good.”
Ok, humor me. I am on a Broadway run through this pandemic as I find it makes me happy especially when I’m singing along and dancing. Yes, I look ridiculous but no one else is here but me and where I live is social distancing heaven so my neighbors aren’t disturbed. Believe me, being home so much can be trying in the best of circumstances. I’m so grateful for having my home.
The latest hurdle is when to open schools. The quote from Wicked is for the teacher or teachers who came into my life and saved me. In high school, I had William Penman as a drama teacher. He was so passionate about the arts so much so that he arranged for the drama class from a Cincinnati, Ohio public school to see Marcel Marceau. Marceau was undisputedly one of the best mimes who ever lived. He created an entire world on an empty stage challenging our imaginations far beyond our world.
Mr. Penman knew he needed to expand our minds past what we thought was possible. That’s what good teachers do. They show us what is possible and then let us decide where we need to go in our lives. That is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. Our teachers are this world’s future so yes I will get up on my soapbox as much as possible to defend them.
I taught university for seven years and it was some of the happiest days of my life. Not only did it give me the opportunity to learn what I needed to teach but also knowing that I was hopefully helping my students create their future world. I know they helped me create mine. They gave me the hope and courage to take chances I didn’t believe I could do on my own.
I still use the lessons my teachers taught me and love the fact that I am still learning. It gives me the energy to move through each day. To be able to sing, dance and studying. To create and listen and watch all of the amazing teachers that are available right now.
“I’ve heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason bringing something we must learn. And we are led to those who help us most to grow if we let them. And we help them in return. Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true. But I know I’m who I am today because I knew you.”