Imaginings of the Future
I am walking down the street, on my way to work. It is a beautiful day, and I am wearing my favourite blue silk dress and glittery red shoes. I love the way my dress moves with my body, making walking feel more like dancing. And so I am smiling and swaying my hips, my head held high and music in my steps, when I pass a group of construction workers (mostly people who identify as ‘men’). They all greet me, a respectful, genuine greeting, which I return without hesitating. At the news stand near my workplace, I catch a glimpse of that day’s headline: “Home-free at last” – a closer look shows a report on the phenomenal eradication of so-called domestic violence. I feel like shouting for joy, and so I do, eliciting a thumbs-up from the guy selling the newspapers. As I enter the building, my smile turns into a slightly wry one, as always when I look up at the glass ceiling, thinking back to the days when the term ‘glass ceiling’ would actually signify something other than a brilliant architectural touch! Now it adds to the inspiring setting where I do creative workshops, facilitating the making, sharing and performing of personal-political narratives. I truly enjoy working with people from all over the world and all walks of life, and participating in this process of constant transformation. During my coffee break, as I am munching on a previously-deemed-decadent (i.e. chocolate) cupcake, I get a call from my sister in South Africa, who tells me about the latest advertising campaign of the magazine where she works as creative director: “It’s all about smashing gender stereotypes – and it’s a hit!” In the background I can hear my other sister muttering something about unfunny puns (apparently they are at her new home… finally a place of her own). On my way home, I still have a lingering wistful smile, thinking of how proud I am of them, my sisters (it was hard for them, being young mothers and women of colour, back in 2010)… of the long way we have all come; how much has changed for all my sisters in terms of opportunities for and access to education, care and economic security. It is getting dark, just the sound of my red footsteps and my singing thoughts, and I am walking down the street – smiling.
I am smiling now, as I run my eyes (a bit teary – I admit, not without embarrassment!) over the vision (fantasy, dream, hope, ideal) I have just sketched in words. And I am sighing – at the weight (the wait, and the longing) and the unbearable lightness of it. I wonder about (this) vision – is it ‘really’ vision, or just a sweeping flight of fancy? There is so much I can not ‘see’ – it is the future, after all. Yet when I look back and witness what had been accomplished for and by women, when I look around and read the stories, testimonies and reports here on WorldPulse, I can imagine. This has often been my response to writing (my own, and that of others): I can imagine. And so I hope for, I envision a way to continue writing with empathy, and faithfully. And I imagine, I believe that becoming a Voices of Our Future correspondent would guide me on this path.