We leave in one week and I am filled with gratitude, anticipation and wonder. I am so honored to take a trip that asks me to witness stories of love, hope, resilience and power. We will travel through California, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Kansas, Illinois, West Virginia, North and South Carolina, Louisiana, Texas and New Mexico. We have a hefty schedule visiting women’s shelters on reservations, in small towns and in areas where many women and shelters are isolated from resources and one another. We will hold healing and creative workshops and meet new friends. Like Juliette, I am thinking how best to keep my heart open and move with the spirit of adventure that awaits us.
I am so grateful for the help I have received so far; from those that sat with me and planned the route, calculating drive times and distances between destinations, to those who have generously agreed to let us spend a night in their homes. To my friend Janis who constantly measured the van’s interior space to see how many art supplies could be crammed into the storage hole and to Jucy Van rentals for finally finding me the perfect van to travel over 7000 miles in! To my Traveling Postcards friends across the country who are planning adventures in their own states to my friends here at home who have come over, sat at my kitchen table and cut countless images to use for collage. I thank you all.
I am especially grateful to all the women and men who have shown their solidarity for this project and sent in a Traveling Postcard to be delivered to the women we meet. We have over 350 postcards that will travel with us, carrying messages of love, hope, wisdom and freedom. All your hearts will travel with us as we embark on a trip of a lifetime, gathering stories of love in the face of violence.
Traveling Postcard by Cynthia Bydlinski