by Donna Ekart
There are photos, someplace in the house, of me in D.C., on the Mall, in a group of happily random, younger-than-they-thought-they-were women, smiling, and holding a round blue sign. I loved those girls, loved the silly pledge we made when we set out from the middle of the heartland to D.C. to only listen to music by women, loved that by half-way home they were all screaming for crazy hiphop by some loud guy, any loud guy. In those moments, I never would have believed that I could have changed my mind, and later, as I felt it start to change, I resisted, fearing that the change would make me forget those women, that time, who I was then. But it never came to pass; I didn't forget them, didn't forget a single one of the arguments that were so persuasive to me then, didn't forget what wrong I was attempting to make right by my belief. There are days when I wish I could, days when I realize that what I should have been afraid of was remembering. So, when I say it's not that simple, that it's not just a thing that I believe just because some authority tells me to, I know: I know what I've turned my back on, I know the utter lack of malice in the hearts of those who believe differently than me, and I know that there's still a wrong out there to be righted; I just can't bring myself to make it right the same way.
Donna Ekart, author of Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant, is a librarian who really likes the sensation of words falling out of her head. She lives in Kansas, which isn't as flat or dull as you might think.