I'm excited to have a new essay up at Writers Resist, a spirited young journal that describes itself like this:
"Writers Resist is a feminist literary collective born of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. We publish creative expressions of resistance by diverse writers and artists from around the globe, and we’re dedicated to challenging all things that diminish our nation’s quest for equality, freedom, justice and a healthy planet for all—while having a bit of fun."
It was a pleasure working with editors Sara Marchant and Kit Bacon-Gressitt. I invite you to read Writers Resist and to share, submit your work and support this worthy endeavor.
My essay evokes one of my favorite writers, humorists and humans, the late Nora Ephron in describing my own journey of growing out my gray.
In a 2005 essay, Nora Ephron wrote, “There’s a reason why 40, 50, and 60 don’t look the way they used to, and it’s not because of feminism or better living through exercise. It’s because of hair dye.” She went on to say, “In the 1950s, only 7 percent of American women dyed their hair; today there are parts of Manhattan and LA where there are no gray-haired women at all.”
Till, as a single and childless 40-year-old woman of color, I found myself slipping unwarned down a steep slope toward the verge of disappearance. In workplace, family, and friend gatherings, I was deferring more frequently to the younger, or the coupled, or the oldest. My lone voice carried the least weight at any given time. Beyond a loss of vote and visibility, it felt like an erosion of my self.
Lastly, I'm reminded of this essay from the Brevity blog that touches on similar issues.
Why not drop the “late” and just use “bloomer” to describe writers who publish post-forty? Yet that stresses the absence of a word, rather than the word itself. Oh, I get it, they dropped the “late.” If a plant-related reference is called for, I prefer perennial, as in enduring. Continually occurring. Better still, how about just “author”?
Life is a journey, each phase of which has it's triumphs and frustrations. I'm fortunate to now have the time and inclination to pursue my creative passions.
Until next time!
Dorothy, author of Gray Is The New Black, blogs about the challenges and opportunities of being a woman and a writer of a certain age in a youth-centric universe.