As I write this blog, I am without contributors for the 14th prompt – for the first time since I started this project. Don’t let this happen again. go to the full list of strange prompts and send me something for #19, #20, #23, #25, #26, #28, #29 or #30?
Hah! Fooled you! I put out a heartfelt cry on the Book of Faces, and the very splendid Ann Cuthbert took pity on me, sending in this piece – which is immeasurably better than mine!
For love of the rebellious traveller
(Ynes Mexia 1870-1938)
In these photographs she frowns from makeshift jungle desk, inches across a chasm-spanning log, dangles her legs over Grand Canyon’s rim.
Why did I love her? Nothing daunted her.
So slight, so unassuming, my Ynes. But tough as the boots she bushwacked in – they told her women couldn’t, especially not old ones, so she thought she better had – for thirteen years, from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, canoeing the Amazon, camping in bogs, collecting her beloved specimens.
She didn’t really need me, preferred solitude, but I tagged along, braved earthquakes, sideways rain, unwashed hair, took photographs while she took measurements, made notes. 150,00 plants, 500 new species, 50 named after her.
‘I have a job now,’ she said. ‘I produce something real and lasting.’ This rebellious traveller I loved.
Then I received this lovely poem from Julie Easley
She left notes,scribbles of selfscattered about.She spoke of secrets,symbols and strangers,said so much morethan she should.Its for love, she wrote,for the wanderlust soulsto light their wayThey became tokens,her notes, for the rebelliousamongst us. Snippetsof sentencesthat sent travellersto tread ever deeper.Step gently, she told them,step further, but always gently.