To spin the web and not be caught in it, to create the world, to create your own life, to rule your fate, to name the grandmothers as well as the fathers, to draw nets and not straight lines, to be a maker as well as a cleaner, to be able to sing and not be silenced, to take down the veil and appear: all these are the banners on the laundry line I hang out.
– Rebecca Solnit, “Grandmother Spider”
This adventure has been born out of five years, give or take, of researching what I call “the grandmothers”. I’ve slowly and then suddenly become aware that often we do not hear the stories of women in our history and that these stories and voices matter. I’m super fortunate to have a host of people around me that have handed me books, sent me links, and talked me through what this means for our world, for myself, and for my students.
The idea of the trip is to draw the nets of our past, and not just straight lines of lineage.
To name our grandmothers: the known and unknown, the celebrated and shamed, the singers and the silenced. The hope is to know them in all of their complicated glory, to know them in their humanity.