Friday, July 5, 2013

Finding my Voice in a Scavenger Hunt Photo


2013 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt Item #15: A Fire Truck or Police Car
As I was walking to work  the other day, I spied a fire engine and hurried to snap a photograph for the scavenger hunt I am hosting this summer.  If you look closely at this photograph (clicking on it to enlarge it might help), you will see that both the driver and officer sitting next to her are women. As they waved at me, I stopped to marvel at their presence in the engine. Suddenly, I heard a conversation behind me . . . two older women had also noticed the crew and were chatting about how unexpectedly wonderful it was to see female firefighters.
I smiled and thought back to an earlier time in my career. I thought about my friend Shauna and the work she had done as part of a group of civil rights lawyers to integrate the San Francisco Fire Department. I became friends with Shauna when we were both transitioning from legal practice to law school teaching. Today, I teach Employment Discrimination law. I am motivated by training the next generation of lawyers to go out and create more everyday miracles - like the one captured in my viewfinder.
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Lesson Two in the Find Your Voice Storytelling Workshop is all about examining who you are as a person and as a storyteller. There's a series of wonderfully revealing worksheets to fill out and three great creative prompts. I plan to complete the three prompts, each of which  deals with situating yourself within a story. Today, in response to one of the prompts, I have shared a short story about a recent event. Soon, I'll blog a photo essay (about a home run) and also an art journal page (about an adventure I had in Beijing).  
Doing the lessons for this class has made me consider the possibility of working on a memoir about my life in the last year. Our family has been through so much that I think there's a compelling story to be told. I am fairly confident about my skills as a writer and story teller, so I feel like I might be able to tell the story in a compelling way. I'm not completely sure about the undertaking; it would definitely push me outside my comfort zone (one of the goals of the workshop). If I do, I think I will set up a private blog and start writing chapters there. It's a scary thought, but one I am allowing to roll around inside my head. I would never have even come up with this idea without the Find Your Voice Workshop, so thanks Kristin for pushing me in this way. Have any of you ever started a major writing project like tha?

25 comments:

helena said...

sitting here cheering for all the everyday miracle workers. As someone who broke some glass ceilings in my time I'm always pleased to see a diverse workforce and people in places that would have been seen as impossible in my grandmothers time.

I think your memoir idea is fabulous - go for it. I've only written academic books and know what a long project they are but followed my doctoral supervisors advice of writing one paragraph at a time and never thinking about the total length

Lesley G said...

Brilliant photo - from a very early age I wanted to do a "man's" job. I became an aircraft engineer in our Royal Navy and loved it!

Sian said...

I love that picture. It has great presence.

There's a brilliant little book you should grab, called "The Memoir Project" by Marion Roache Smith. maybe someone has already recommended it - it's so inspiring...

..I haven't started my memoir yet though! I think you should do it!

JO SOWERBY said...

I love that picture, go girls. I also adore the idea of your writing your memoir, it would be such a perfect way to retain your family memories and if you read my Storytelling Sunday post tomorrow I will explain why these things are so important.
So go for it is what I say, it will be incredible,
Jo xxx

Kirsty.A said...

Excellent snap and a great commentary to go with it

Chipper Newman said...

A memoir is a great idea! I love that photo and I would have missed that they were women if you hadn't pointed it out.

Ladkyis said...

Go for it! get that memoir out of your head and into some form or other. If you later regret writing it, well that's ok. Better to regret the things you have done than the things you have left undone.

Make those memories and write them down

Karen said...

Writing a memoir is a fabulous idea, and now would be the time to do it, when everything is fresh in your mind!

Cheri said...

I've never taken on a project quite of that scope. I did write my own autobiography of sorts when I was in college because I wanted to record the feelings I had about all the sh*t from my childhood. I say GO FOR IT! Even if you don't share or publish, the writing of it will probably help process all of the feelings you went through in the past year.

Lizzie said...

That is a great story! I love that you were able to capture this on camera and also that you have more than just a passing interest in employment equality, because it's part of what you do.
It's a fab photo too.
I've missed several "photo opportunities" for your Scavenger Hunt, because I keep forgetting my camera...grrr, pathetic!

Holly said...

I think you should write the memoir. After all, isn't that part of Find Your Voice? Learning to tell our stories? I was fascinated by the photo and what it represented last week, and I am still keen this week. I work in Law Enforcement and there has been a serious prejudice against women in this field as well. Today, more and more women are becoming police. Good women, tough women (tho not to be confused with hard women), smart women. It is a so interesting to me to see how far women have come in the last 50 years.

Holly said...

also Sian, the link for Marion Roche Smith, is incredible. She is now on my *must read* lists for FB and her blog.

Mommy2CVC said...

I definitely think you should do it! You have the talent and your a great story teller! It's also good for the soul to tell your story, whether it's only for you or to share. I love writing and even though I don't do it anymore my two older daughters have carried on the tradition. Love you!

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

I think you should do it as well. It's a story worth telling even if only your family see it.

AnnieC said...

Brilliant photo! I love the way you write from the heart and if you feel you have a story to tell you should definitely write your memoir - even if you didn't want to share it with the world, it would be a wonderful thing to do for yourself and your children. I really believe that everyone has at least one book in them and I have made a couple of false starts myself ... maybe one day ... :o)x

BJ said...

Thanks for the storytelling link for FYV, I have just subscribed. I'm big at telling verbal stories, I wonder if this will transfer to paper well. BJ

AnnieC said...

oh, I meant to say - yes you're right, we seeem to be juggling a few of the same challenges at the moment and I try to combine some of them when I can but that doesn't always work!
You were interested in Tag Tuesday - now we've finished the alphabet, we'll be given a theme each week (the first four are already up on the blog, beginning with "ITALY"). There's a waiting list to be a contributor to the blog, but if you register, they'll contact you when a place becomes available and you can play along and post on your blog anyway of course. They are a very friendly and supportive bunch and I know you'd be a very welcome member of the tag team! :o)xxx

Lynda said...

First of all, what a wonderful picture of the women firefighters! And it's nice to find out more about you.

I used to teach journal writing and a class called "Telling Your Story" which was all about writing about your life. Just writing your story is so healing and since you have someone to pass the story down to - such an act of love that they (or their kids) will cherish once you are gone. I wrote a blog post not too long ago about one of my students who gave me her book she completed after my class. What a treasure for her family and for me. I am so glad you are going to write your story.

Gail said...

Oh yes you should do it! I hadn't noticed they were women (I'll put that down to my eyesight). They most definitely have broken the ceiling in San Francisco - I saw yesterday with all the coverage of the plane crash that the chief is a woman too. One of our friends was the first female stationary or is it stationery engineer in a power plant in our province. It was rough at the beginning but she converted a lot of those naysayers over to accepting females in the job.

Beverly said...

So glad you suggested we click on the photo to enlarge or I would have only thought it was a smiling fireman. Absolutely I think you should write your story of the last year, whether it remains private, is shared with just those that lived it or all of us it will be a wonderful process for you.

Fiona said...

I think writing your memoirs is a great idea.

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

I love that you captured two of the passengers waving/showing a peace sign. That's just icing on the cake.

I've never thought much about writing a lengthy story - I wonder how I would keep it all organized. But I sure would love to read yours!

evie winter said...

It is wonderful how photos can tell such stories, it is this I love most about photography I think. Love the picture and the story it tells!

Jimjams said...

I love that they have engaged with you as you snapped the shot. Inspiring :-)

S said...

Cool pic - bless those guys!