We're in a hotel basement, hours ago having been asked to leave the conference room so they can clean it. I rub my hands over my tired eyes for the 10th time in as many minutes. My fingers are sore from the hat I keep knitting, then ripping out, then knitting, then ripping out, trying to keep a tactile/textile record of what is happening right now.
"The second last one, there. Is that a pro, or a con?"
We can't even tell anymore. Or maybe we just don't agree.
I do a quick inventory. We've easily been working in the women's movement for 200 years, if you combine our experience.
I feel like we've been at the hotel at least that long.
"Wait. Wait. What do the bylaws say about that? How many days notice do we have to give?"
"Can we go back to something on the first page again? I'm sorry."
"Point of order, please. Who has the floor?"
It's getting pretty close to 11pm and the floor is looking pretty appealing. I open a chocolate I don't even want to eat, just because. We had a second wind, but it's dwindling. At the same time, we're still laughing at each other's jokes, and feeling tentative optimism about what we're doing.
"I'm a process person. I have a question about the process."
I think about how tidy change looks from a distance. I think of how sloppy and makeshift it is close up. I wonder how this event might read in a book one day. Is this really what history looks like? If so, how do we know if what we're doing is a big deal or not? This doesn't really look like a big deal.
15 women, in a hotel basement, trying to save something we're not even sure we should even be saved. Because talking to each other about what it already means to all of us, we have come to the tacit agreeent that we have to try. Even if all we really have for resources are flip charts, markers, tunnel vision, and each other.
It seems to be all we need.