activist, writer, and founder of the Feminist Press

Florence in Words

The Month of April Disappears Without Blogs

May 4, 2011

Tags: events, visiting, speaking, A Life in Motion

I thought I would write blogs as I moved from place to place in California, and so I carried my little Toyota with me. But the most I could do at the end of a day of talking, talking, talking, was to write a brief journal reporting on how tired I was or how I’d spent the day and evening talking. Or, when I was more tired that that, I wrote nothing. And the next morning was no use, for I rose in time to begin another schedule.

Also, I did not live in the occasional silence of hotel rooms, but with my friends, people I love, all but one of whom had dogs I also love. So I not only talked with my friends; I played with their dogs or took pictures of my friends with their dogs. Bloggers need solitude, I now understand, but I was eager to be with friends and dogs and sunshine, which was also plentiful.

Zeke, who lives with Ellen and JanetJulie Olsen Edwards and Sadie
Zeke, who lives with Ellen and Janet
Julie Olsen Edwards and Sadie

So I enjoyed a Saturday morning market in Santa Cruz with Julie Olsen Edwards, who stopped to say hello to a guy who always dresses up for the occasion. On another afternoon, Julie, husband Rob Edwards, and their sheep-herding, ball-catching Sadie went for a walk in the park. A few days later, on another morning in Santa Barbara, I had breakfast on a beach with Shirley Geok-lin Lim and a seagull. And in Seattle, Enzo and Carol Dahl posed for me one morning in the living room sunlight. And yes, because Saturday was so beautiful in Seattle we walked in Visitors Park before going off to my reading at the prestigious, huge Elliott Bay Bookstore in its new quarters.

Julie Olsen Edwards and the man with the accordion at the Sanata Cruz Saturday MarketThe seagull that shared our breakfast
Julie Olsen Edwards and the man with the accordion at the Sanata Cruz Saturday Market
The seagull that shared our breakfast

Sophie and Janet at home in Santa Cruz, April 2011Enzo and Carol Dahl in Seattle
Sophie and Janet at home in Santa Cruz, April 2011
Enzo and Carol Dahl in Seattle

I knew that there would be few people at a reading scheduled on a rare sunny Saturday in Seattle, only a dozen came. But two of them were especially worth all I had to give, for they told me before I began that they had been in my classes in 1974 when I was visiting professor at the University of Washington in Seattle. Thirty-seven years later, here they were!! Though they did not know each other as Seattle residents and graduates of the university, they had remembered my name and recognized my photo. I’ve got their names—Iris Rose and Jeanette Norris—and I expect to see them again when I go to Seattle for the meetings of the Modern Language Association next January.

Enzo, who lives with Carol and Vince in SeattleCarol and Vince in Seattle
Enzo, who lives with Carol and Vince in Seattle
Carol and Vince in Seattle

Select Works

"Everyone concerned about global feminism, women’s contributions, and humanity’s future will be enhanced and enchanted by A Life in Motion.”—Blanche Wiesen Cook, author of Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume I and Volume II
Lecture delivered by Florence Howe on January 8, 2011, at the Modern Language Association Annual Convention
“It is impossible to imagine women’s studies without Florence Howe. Myths of Coeducation shows her vision and courage, insight and dauntlessness.”–Catharine R. Stimpson, Rutgers University
A revised and expanded edition of the classic groundbreaking anthology of 20th-century American women's poetry, representing more than 100 poets from Amy Lowell to Anne Sexton to Rita Dove.

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