Monday, April 16, 2012

Good until the last bit

I'm finally home after a long day of travel, maybe 7 or 8 hours straight. My Asheville workshop went well and Bookworks was lovely, such a beautiful space and warm community. My students astounded me with how much they got done over the weekend. I have never had such industrious students, nor a group who almost all finished an entire woven book cover before the end of class. This is Jessica with her second woven piece in the round (amazing that we even had time for me to briefly explain that process). I was so happy to meet Frank, finally, one of those 100% kind and good book and paper people. And my host was so very generous and kind, with the most beautiful garden I have seen one woman create all on her own. But I always teach all out, so naturally I was exhausted.

I flew from Asheville to Detroit, and was unwilling to wait over three hours for a long layover, so I paid to get onto an earlier one. After the flight to NYC, I took a bus to the train station, and finally the train home. I got a seat early and started to make paper cords, and later a man sat down next to me. I had my headphones on to drown out the sound of the men in front of me having a conversation. Maybe ten minutes or so after we left, the man next to me said in a not-very-nice tone, "Are you going to do that for the next 30 minutes?? I just want to know. I mean, DO IT, but you're making me insane." I was so shocked that I just looked at him, and then kept working. He had so generously granted me permission, didn't he? If he had asked nicely for me to stop, I certainly would have considered. Five minutes later, he said, "Seriously, just tell me if you are going to do this for the next 30 minutes. I have to know." I showed him the strips I had remaining and said I would do it until I was done with the strips, but had no way of timing how long that would take. He was Very Angry. I was deeply hurt b/c I am Very Sensitive. Five minutes later, he put away his book and took out his phone and started to videotape me, in what I believe was his attempt to intimidate me to stop. He put the phone right at my face, and then at my hands, and back and forth. Finally, he got up and walked away.

I hate when affluent white men feel such extreme entitlement that they need to harass people who muss their tidy patriarchy. There were so many things I considered saying, but I didn't even want to engage, since he was not in any place to be anything but high and mighty. The funny thing is that he has no idea what he was capturing on video, and how valuable that information is and has been, in the right hands.

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