When I drop her off at school in the crisp morning, she turns to wave good-bye. She leaves me to my women’s work.
I drive to the coffee shop. I pull out my journal and write, fountain pen on hyper-speed and still trailing my racing thoughts. I try to write my way to a better neighborhood, maybe an alley in the New City. I tell stories from Burundi where the Batwa move from cracked ground to fertile soil soaked with promise. I spill mama-tales and scribble small epiphanies in the hope of leaking light in some corner of my own heart – or someone else’s.
I walk to the car and check Voxer, my lifeline to these women. There’s a conversation already unfolding across state lines and time zones, the many miles separating us unable to put a dent in our collaborative stride. Today we address single sentence descriptions for our books-under-construction. I’m stymied so The Editor writes mine – and it’s perfect. Others read theirs and we offer word changes or congratulations on a sentences well crafted. We decided weeks ago to all take the plunge and submit proposals together, pushing one another forward, pulling the best out of each one in turn.
Someone sent her work in first – we cheered. And when I did mine at long last – they cheered again. We co-labored on stories of Burmese weavers, Asian adventures that upended our mission models, Somali neighbors, worlds where kids can (or cannot) fly and reflections on adoption. We’ve become creative colleagues collaborating in writing but also in motherhood, sisterhood and dinner ideas. We have strong opinions about book titles with corners and teeth, Fiery Cheetos, patriarchy and chickens – so many thoughts on chickens.
Over Saturday lunch my daughter says, “I want friends like that when I grow up.”