Tuesday, December 12, 2006

the woman in the woods

The most thrilling quote on a website for the Teak Fellowship, a wonderful program whose fellows remind me so much of my own students:

I will do anything I can to make sure I get the best education and knowledge I need to meet my goals. I am willing to work hard to get to the place I’m going and an hour of public transportation is not going to stop me. --Diana

Today during my hour, I was sketched on the subway for the second time.

This time, by an older woman, much like the women in the Kelly Link stories I’ve been reading, the ones who hang out in woods, and give younger women choices. She looked around the train, this woman, then settled on me. I was right beside her, taller than her, pretending to read Kelly Link. She pulled out a notebook bound in leather with leather strings wound round the cover, palm-sized, burned. The pages were cream. She flipped through page after page of sketches, all faces, all done in rough black ink.

Then came to a blank page and began.

I don’t think she was taking my power, like the woman in the woods might. I think we were swapping gifts, exchanging. She can see in the dark now; I can live without fear.

We came to a bridge and I knew its name.