Mon, Mar 22, 2010
I say “examined” because spring this year diverges from years past.
Last year, virgin green blades of grass emerged, and the branches of my Bradford pear was veiled in buds. I was unemployed.
This year, the dead leaves from last fall still remain on the ground, which is entirely bare from the beating my boys gave it from playing their favorite games—soccer and field hockey. The pear tree has lost one of its main trunks in a recent wind storm and now blocks play of any kind, which is metaphoric for the latest twist in my life.
As another spring seduces me with warmth, I am also examining my life. In May, it will change, too. I’m leaving on a jet plane to Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. No, I’m not “Jihad Jane,” and I haven’t been seduced by a Saudi sheik (fingers crossed for that to be the message in my next Fortune cookie).
My wonderful employer has tapped me—after three months—to help advance the importance of early care and education in the Middle East for the next two years. A serious and important topic and one that I can perform with confidence and respect as I’m immersed in a monarchical society, where I cannot drive (I’ll have my own driver—yippee!) or socialize with men (in public—boohoo!).
This life-changing event has led me to the decision to discontinue writing Girl On the Brink. As Ann, the last thing I need is some Wahhabi Cleric after my golden locks, which I’ve cut off (desert prep), or the religious police detecting a slip in modesty when the sun shines through my abaya and shows my skin.
Work will take me to Amman in Jordan (where I can “sin” on my off hours) and other sandbox countries.
Last year at this precise time, a different breeze blew. Newly divorced, I had been scrimping by on government services and flew to Antigua for Sailing Week (see that blog), reeling from the loss of my job of 3.5 years, with my girlfriend, who’s now off to earthquake-shaken Haiti to produce a documentary.
We may be different in love and in life, but we embrace change, and that’s what brings us together. For without change, we cannot advance as a society, a nation, a world. Change brings both the good and the bad, and it seems that we cannot have one without the other.
It’s the radical extremes—this recession, in particular—that weakens the belief that we are making the world a better place to live.
As Ann Powers, I hope that I’m a small but important chink in the chain that good things can rise from the Phoenix.
On that refrain, I say good-bye but not farewell.
Always Ann (Please keep in touch email@example.com),