World-traveling in Context
This week I am revisiting the Lugones reading about world-traveling and feeling at ease in the worlds we travel through. When I first read the reading, I disliked it very much. I did not understand exactly the terms the author used and I definitely could not understand them in relation to literacy. I realize now that the Lugones reading was not something I could read and just immediately get. Instead, I had to experience what she meant by world-traveling and this experience played out this weekend when I attended the Posse Plus Retreat (PPR).
For those who do not know, the PPR is a weekend-long event open to Bryn Mawr students, faculty and staff invited by the Pose scholars on campus. It is an annual event and its goal is to get people connected and to be challenged by conversations about a central topic. The one I attended was on gender & sexuality.
This weekend, I travelled to a new world and it was not without unease. A little ignorantly, I thought that there wasn't much to learn about the topic because I had two gay best friends, I went to a very open high school, and I go to Bryn Mawr, a school that is very supportive and vocal about the LGBTQAAII community. Of course I was completely wrong. Even worse, I left the retreat feeling like I had never belonged or felt at ease in that "world" even when I thought I did at first. Feeling, in some ways, excluded, I left PPR with more questions than answers to my frustrations. I think they are very relevant to the Lugones reading so....
Is there a difference between feeling at ease and feeling like you belong to a different world? Is my feeling at ease or feeling like I belong to a different world mainly dependent on those who established that world and how they receive/perceive me?How do we travel through a space where multiple worlds intersect? Is that even possible?Does being at ease in a different world mean that the traveller is powerful? Powerful enough to change that world? Even if the character has limiting characteristics? For instance, Lugones "feeling at ease" in Anglo worlds as a woman of color.
I am in no hurry for answers. I feel like world traveling will always create more questions than answers, if any. I am just glad to know that my challenge with the reading was always meant to be a struggle because it represents very real situations that are hard to grapple in the moment. And my experience over the weekend was no exception.