(Foster)ing a new era

Yesterday, I was running down the cobbled streets of Old Town with a 19th century woman who looked a lot like me when a female pilot ushered me into a poorly parked fighter jet. We promptly took-off towards fickle skies while my look-a-like, pink ribbons hanging limp from her hair, stayed behind. She smiled sweetly, perhaps she even waved. I can’t remember.

Nor can I remember much about the female pilot. I never saw her face, only her tight bun and sensible heels as we flew straight into a storm drawn like a cartoon animation. The plane jerked violently, the boxy houses below came into view, and the calm female pilot in sensible heels turned her head towards me, still oddly calm, as I crashed into the annoying middle crack of my sofa bed.

I woke up with an aching back and guilty conscience. I might just be the worst co-pilot the world’s collective subconscious has ever seen.

Perhaps you’ve figured out by now my dreams are vivid and character-driven. They often feature a few friendly strangers, sprinting, disaster, and cool outfits.

But, this is the first time I’ve ever gotten into a vehicle where the driver’s seat was occupied by a woman, let alone one wearing heels, the clothing item I fear most in this world.

Dream interpretation websites and theories have different things to say about this particular dream, but I think, for once, I might be able to make sense of this one on my own.

Women taking the lead has been a frequent topic of discussion this week.

An important mentor of mine, Loisanne Foster, passed away after a long and gutsy fight with cancer. She was a kind intellectual, dedicated friend, bold pioneer, and ingenious poet who helped me grow and prosper as a writer. I found my life’s purpose in part because of her. She was one of several pilots in my life, her melodic name so amply finished off with the word “foster”. How perfect is that!

On January 20, 2021, a woman with many of the same qualities as Loisanne could foster a new age as she takes the driver’s seat and controls one of the most closely watched planes in the world.

I think I can speak for the majority of Americans, along with my 19th century look-a-like and the fashionable female pilot in sensible heels, by proclaiming it’s about time the United States of America had a female president!

We now have four in the running – four accomplished, intelligent, and seemingly diplomatic choices for our nation’s leader and I could not be more excited.

We, the people, have waited for a moment like this for long enough.

And yes, it’s going to be a cobbled, blustering, harrowing journey if a woman does indeed take the lead. She’ll have to work much harder to earn equal respect. She’ll both frighten and inspire her co-pilots as she learns to weather many storms, just as the uncredited women of our world’s history have done for centuries.

And hopefully, when that time comes, heels will be worn, women will be as fashionable and unfashionable as they like, and someone, somewhere, will be wearing pink, because for a redhead like me who has often been the told she must stay away from feminine pastels, pink has always been the color of rebellion.

So, let today, tomorrow, 2021, and beyond be a time for female pilots, for fostering a new era.

In other words, let’s make Loisanne Foster proud.

Fight on,

Anna

 

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