Over many years, I talked and listened to women tell their stories. Whether I waited tables, tended bar, sold or appraised real estate, or leaned on the counter near the cash register on a quiet afternoon in my book shop. I mention the last item because a quiet afternoon in a small town book shop was perfect for a conversation with a woman who needed to release her story to someone who would listen. It didn’t need to be a close friend, maybe even better because I wasn’t. Each one of those stories, though not written here, were not forgotten by me, is honored with this publication. They reveal the various lives we have lived as women.
An anthology is the perfect vehicle to reveal stories untold; to explain, represent and disclose. Like a whisper in my ear from a feminine ancestor, the idea slid right into my mind. It wouldn’t let me sleep until I put thought into action. Timing is perfect, I said to myself. Women’s achievements of the past are now coming out of vintage trunks. There are tales of heroines of long and not so long ago. Women who made great changes behind the scenes are stepping into limelight they deserve. No more hiding behind curtains or in the backroom.
Reading Jeanmarie Evelly’s History of a Body inRattle #66 set me on fire! It boiled the blood in my veins! It slapped me alert! Excitement charged through me as images passed in front of my eyes. I needed to invite women to tell their stories. I wondered how many women experienced incidents only because they were female. I felt their stories could only be told correctly and completely by them.
It is time to let the world read our words; words reveal who we were, how we lived, loved, and who we are today. We went unnoticed, doing great things in small ways. We influenced others with our quiet deeds.
We postponed and sacrificed our dreams to benefit ones we loved and never mentioned it. Let each reader laugh or cry, cheer for us, or get angry at what happened. Let some disagree with our decisions or shout ‘Brava!’
With kindness and respect,
Arlene S. Bice