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.
The truth. What is. The expression WORD is just that.
I know that we have to focus on taking care of each other.
The questions we need to be asking are… Is what I am about to say kind? Is it true? Is it necessary? Life happens when you listen.
I have a responsibility to listen more and hear what people are saying. I must focus on giving people the space to feel safe. That the moment to moment is all we have right now to find peace.
Hopefully, the reality is that voices are being heard loud and clear and that there will finally be a change in the right direction. The time is now. No excuses. To be judged not by color but by character.
“Careful the things you say. Children will Listen. Careful the things you do. Children will see. And learn.”
Stephen Sondheim wrote a beautiful musical called “Into The Woods” and in it is a very poignant song called “Children Will Listen.” Those words from the song hold very true today. Our actions and our words are so important to our children. Especially now they need to feel safe and cared for even if we are afraid and unsure. We are all they have.
My son is 31 with a son who is almost 1. I love watching him take care of and protect his son and wife. These are uncertain times and a feeling of hope is all we have to cling to right now.
“Guide them along the way. Children will glisten. Children will look to you. For which way to turn. To learn what to be. Careful before you say, “Listen to me.” Children will listen.”
“Careful the spell you cast. Not just on children. Sometimes the spell may last past what you can see. Careful the tale you tell. Children will listen.”
In these times when spending time with family whether with or without children it’s hard sometimes to be aware of not listening. I think people don’t want you to solve their problems or ignore or minimize their feelings. They just want recognition, understanding, and acceptance.
I don’t think we need a pandemic to understand the importance of listening. Words are important but not everything. Sometimes it’s just your willingness to listen that speaks volumes.