Dawn arrival slipping on gracious silence welcomed by
The tendril-embrace of mooring line
A lush primary return to THE place I had never been
Save in my dreamers-heart during my life before
Lapping wavelets lob me the signal
“You’re home, you’re home”,
Undulating reminder of my grail, now
Freed from the deep, gluey mud.
Home to a land and time heretofore unseen
Inhale the salt air and feast the soul’s eye on unknown beauty
Sought after since time immemorial
Exhale to recognition and float inwards to approbation
Long time coming beginnings of love.
Thrown open doors of self-imposed exile
Melt from the hinges and sink like a straight shot into
Poseidon’s depths where I follow though swimming
For my life in the sea turned birth canal of hope.
I so wish to remain in the skin of the sea
No harm may come to me
Finally returned to my core-earth I breath with myself
And my Self breaths with me.
No fear, nor trembling panic overtakes me
Expiation finished, I won out over violence
And kicked oppression into orbit
Orion will take over from there.
What was supposed to have been a workshop dedicated to introducing code, to a group of forty girls ranging in age from late teens up through mid-fifties actually morphed into an epiphany for me, so to speak. Being coached through the installation of the necessary tools and learning what a text editor is, and that my macbook was even hiding Terminal allowed me to build a functioning web app. It is a very simple note-taking kind of web app, but it is mine and I built it using Ruby on Rails. Coding Epiphany had set my brain on fire. This is good. This is wonderful and I cannot wait to learn more about programming. I was fortunate to have been contacted for one of the last spaces available due to a cancellation. Maintaining my WordPress blog actually piqued my curiosity about code. Since I want to understand why my blog looks the way it does and perhaps add some bells and bows to it, learning at least basic code seemed a logical conclusion.
Here in Luxembourg the government is making an giant effort to get more girls interested in pursuing technical professions. In tune with this thinking, they stepped up to the plate and sponsored this first Rails Girls Workshop in the Grand Duchy. The Prime Minister was planning to address out little group in person, but was held up on business outside of the country. Happily, the workshop was graced by the presence of a senior policy advisor at Luxembourg for Business, Madame Claudine Kariger, who addressed us in the Prime Minister’s name. Such official displays of support of this high caliber sets the tone and direction towards greater support and motivation in this under-developed field. I hope that the word will spread like wild fire,not only within the schools, and not only in the media or on the various social platforms, but also by enthused word of mouth. Girls are just as capable to exercise a technical profession as the boys, but they have to be encouraged and nutured. The government is doing just that. So, gals, don’t be shy about asking questions and feed your curiosity and unleash your creativity.
This message also applies to mature women such as myself who are looking for a new challenge after probably having spent a couple of decades in the same field. From what I saw at the workshop, I am not the only 45 plus interested in educating herself towards higher technical sights, be it in learning code or studying engineering. With the support we can expect from other ladies in our network, the Government and places like The Impactory, I am sure that no limit can be set to what we girls can accomplish. And it is just as important to realize that once we understand in the depths of our heart and when our minds follow suit, we will become, in a manner of speaking, de-programmed of thinking that we can’t succeed in areas traditionally though to be open only to the male population. As I write this post, I feel a bit militant towards this subject. But this is all positive energy, a golden impetus to change and re-evaluation of self.
Scintillating is the word I choose to describe the effect this Rails Girls workshop had on me. I am already enrolled in an evening class for the Fall dedicated to creating web pages with HTML and CSS. Thanks to the invigorating Rails Girls Workshop my motivation knows no bounds. Thanks also to every one involved from the organizers and coaches (guy and gals!) to the lovely ladies with whom I learned Ruby on Rails.
Doodled in my Samsung Sketchbook for Galaxy. I usually do not give free pub. But this particular app is simply fun to use. What is better to get thickened writing juices flowing once more than a bit of random doodling? When I was a kid I loved spending hours scouring the World Book Encyclopedia we were fortunate to have in out bookcase. One under water photo taken in the Sargasso Sea never lost its charm. All of that thick and long seaweed swaying in the current! Amazing! Some how this memory emerged in my doodling. Moments like this one have a calming quality on me. I’ll have to doodle in my sketchbook more often.
Nighttime, moon-time, gliding through the midnight blue water
Whiteness of porthole reflections pelt my body with mercurial silveriness
Alone in my cabin on the sea I dream so wakeful and plot
My freedom like an old world navigating towards the New
My world is not flat, but voluptuous like Venus’s breast
My bed of roses grows tendrils as I lay in wait of docking
At freedom’s stable wooden quay
Lulled gently by the passionate waves I leave my body on the exhale
Floating like driftwood into the whirlpool of ideas to ensure my sustenance.
All expectations of future days deliberately left nameless whence I fled.
No expectations to shudder this unfolding map towards freedom
Alone am I now and at ease, gone the insidious contradictions
Of duty and what I and who should I be.
He never ever knew my insides. His loss
On the inhale flood thoughts and volition preserved within the heart flow
Into wakefulness. I remember my parts hidden at the bottom of the sludgy well
I wash them in the gliding satin-like sea, cleanse them of the festering bilge.
You cannot own me ever , for I have wrestled and amputated myself into
This bower of freedom
Each and every time I find myself in a traffic jam I take a brief voyage back in time. I am transported to certain moments in time where my late father realized that he needed to drive the short distance to one of his favorite grocery stores before it was too late. Too late for what ? , one would wonder. After all, he was a retiree and didn’t need to keep up a schedule. Despite his retirement, my dad had a definite daily routine schedule which only varied with the turn of the seasons. Sitting in front of the TV was not part of his daily fare, nor was being generally idle an alternative. As soon as the sun rose he would make himself a half cup of coffee and then have a grapefruit. These two items were to get the juices flowing as he was wont to say. The scrambled eggs and bacon or a bowl of Quaker Oats would follow within an hour. Providing that the weather was clement, he would spend a good part of his waking hours tending to his flower garden and the golf course style lawn. He couldn’t wait to get his hands in the soil as soon as Spring arrived. Summers were no different.
The words I hear from my driver’s seat during a case of grid-lock are these :
“Well, I guess I’d better be gettin’ cleaned up and get to the store. The traffic is so heavy at this time of day. I don’t want to get stuck at that long light on Baldwin Avenue when the shift changes. Not for the few items I have to pick up. But I’ve done my homework and made out my list. Things have gotten so high, why between some stores there is as much as a 25 cent difference in price on a gallon of milk.
Can’t forget my cane. I‘ve got one propped up just about everywhere, just in case I need it. But I always leave my good and sturdy one in the car, my third leg.
I‘ve put on a clean shirt and I guess these pants will do. I have only had them on for a couple of times for an hour or two. I always change into my work clothes once I get home. Just like I used to do back home on the farm after school. I even shaved. If ol’ Max were still around he’d just love the scent of my aftershave. Sure do miss the ol’ boy. I’ll just leave a little note tellin’ that I’ve just gone up to the store. Just in case someone stops by. If they remember that I keep an extra key on the hook inside the garage they can just let themselves in. Now I’ve gotta get the move on so that I don’t get caught by that three o’clock shop traffic.”
This is my daughter’s revery as I sit and wait for my turn to go through the intersection. Seen through this sort of memory tunnel, traffic jams do not irritate me. At such times I sort through my trunk-full of cherished moments: The black interior of my car inevitably reminds me of the black interior of the yellow Ford Maverick I learned to drive in. My Dad referred to himself as my co-pilot and navigator. I catch the scent of his Old Spice after shave and the sweetness of the Wrigley’s spearmint gum he had a habit of chewing while driving; always half a stick at a time. I can still hear his voice . He was the best and most patient instructor. His cars were always clean inside and out from the door handles to the motor. Just yesterday I sat in a traffic jam for about twenty minutes. It seemed as if everyone in the immediate area had all left their offices at the same time on the eve of May 1st, a public holiday in most European countries, to get their commutes to France, Belgium, Germany or even somewhere in tiny Luxembourg underway so that the day off could be enjoyed to the fullest. While I idled in my car listening to some energetic baroque music I looked up and noticed that a car with Belgian plates sported a rather unique personalized license plate.
A picture is worth a thousand words according to a Chinese proverb and many more recent wise men and women. Nearly a decade has passed since I last heard my father mention the heavy traffic at the long light at the entrance of the Pontiac Motor Plant near his home. But that changes nothing to how I react to a traffic jam, or how I prepare myself to avoid one if I need to arrive somewhere punctually congested traffic or not.