There is nothing sexy about this journey. I did not hike the Pacific Coast Trail like Cheryl Strayed did in Wild. Though I did much eating, obviously not enough praying (see outcomes) and I could certainly could use more loving, the eat, pray, love of my life was more for survival or opportunistic. This story does not have the exotic appeal of Eat, Pray Love the famous novel of a pilgrimage to self brought on by a catastrophic crisis. But I have taken a pilgrimage of sort.
This is about the Journey to Anne. Specifically, this is the story of how I came to become bemused by Anne Sullivan Macy, Helen Keller’s teacher. Teachers are never sexy and by god we better not be…at least by societies dictates. (This probably goes back to the early days of teaching when we teachers were quartered in the farmer’s spare bedroom and married to the nearest neighbor farmer as soon as possible to keep the bored tongues from wagging about sin.) Though I once was trying to get an overly rambunctious young man to stand down with his arduous overtures. I did not thwart his overtures with my comments about my advanced age. So in a further attempt to settle this ardent far to young admirer I told him I was a teacher.
That just put him over the moon with lust. Apparently in his youth he just whiled away his fourth grade school year in lust after his teacher. Of course we teacher never speak of such things, but it were to arouse interest in academia well is it so wrong to incite interest.
In my current work speaking and performing as Annie Sullivan Macy, I never introduce my self without stating, that I am Helen Keller’s teacher.
It is like being Joel’s mom. In some worlds, we cease to exist out of context of who we are to the other.
It is an obtuse place of honor.
It is an honor, to be in Annie Sullivan’s company with my work.
Soon I will travel to Tewksbury to speak to the Tewksbury Historical Society to speak there. When she was ten Annie was left festering with her brother Jimmie in this foul almshouse. She would have perhaps died there, like so many others did, like her brother did had she not been scrappy, or perhaps a siren to her own souls, imploring’s that she be perceived differently, that her circumstances should change.
So as I prepare for this trip, which really began long ago, I want to reflect on how it began…