by Merianna Harrelson
I tried to drag the last fifty pages of The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd out because I simply didn’t want the book to end. I wanted to continue to follow the stories of Sarah and Handful as they wrestle with two types of slavery: one physical and one mental. I wanted to know more about Sarah finding her voice and her place as a woman in the 1800s when there was no place for a woman who had no husband. I wanted to learn more about Handful and the way her mind and heart stayed intact and strong in the midst of her enslavement and separation from her mom.
I wanted to know more about these women because I wanted to be more like these women. In a time when there are so many rights afforded to me as a woman, I know there are still the lingerings of women being viewed as different, especially women trying to make their way in male-dominated professions and cultures that still value women to be silent and supportive rather than strong and outspoken.
The fact that these women actually existed in history, lived real lives, and helped change the world to make it easier for us, those who have come behind them only makes the story reside deeper in my mind and soul urging me to continue to help change the world for those who will come behind me. There’s nothing more powerful than stories that ask us to reexamine our lives and our actions and wonder what their impact will be.