Spending time in nature as a woman. TW: violence & assault.
Those pieces of shit. I'm so sorry this happened to you. And that you need to think about this before going on a damn walk. I admire your sense of humor about it. And I support whatever choice you make after this. We've spoken already, you know my position on defense. But it's never the victim's fault. Hindsight is useless in these matters. And from experience, you'll get 20/20 hindsight "advice" from everyone, including yourself, so don't blame yourself for anything. Or let anyone else do it.
I'm glad you are recovering enough to write about it well. Put some foundation on the black eyes. They take forever to go away. And I think you take a lot of risks you don't mention here. Emotional ones. Writing about grief, and now this. Because the ignorant will make uninformed comments. And let me preemptively say fuck you to anyone who does.
I hate this happened. That you were assaulted, beaten and your sense of tranquility and peace in natural spaces placed at risk going forward. I’m fucking inspired by your response to it. You have an incredible spirit and I need some more of that myself. You are not intimidated by adversity and especially you do not let it diminish your sense of beauty, seeing beauty. And then you give this to us as a gift.
This is the one adventure I wish you had never had, my Dear Wanderfinder.
This is really a drag and I'm sorry it happened to you. That it happens to women particularly, all the time, such that your experience in just stepping out the door to enjoy something I take for granted requires a level of care I don't even think of, is something not spoken of nearly enough. Especially in outdoorsy circles. You're taking a risk talking about it, and I think this is exactly the kind of risk worth mentioning to the magazine folks. Regardless, if there is anything I can do for you, I am happy to.
I love the way you let your anger come through. This piece- all your writing- is so raw and real, yet so graceful. It make me think of photos of women when they don’t smile but just look directly at the camera. I love those.
I’m sorry, I’m new here, but where did this happen? And I’m so sorry, but writing your take on it, is not only brave, but, yes, you even made it humorous. It totally sucks that women are STILL NOT on a level playing field with men, especially when it comes to something as simple as taking a walk, at a park, no less. I mean who did those guys think they were? Kudos to you anyway, doll, and I love your writing!
Oh, my dear WanderFinder, what a wise and eloquent commentary you write. It's just shocking how many women respond by saying that it's happened to them too. I'm sure the editors at "Shenandoah" were thinking about literary RISKS, which you take. It's exciting to see you and your readers think more about all kinds of risks and about keeping them under control, like feisty dogs.
I am so angry that this happen to you, and I am in awe in this piece that you've written
I'm so sorry this happened to you. I love your writing, but I was scared to read this one. Both times I was assaulted the "if I had left ten minutes later or earlier/I should have _____/why didn't I _____" thoughts really tormented me. It wasn't even that I was blaming myself. I just wanted desperately to rewind and make it not have happened, if that makes sense. It really does get exhausting (and enraging) having to always have your guard up. I'm sending lots of virtual hugs your way. I'm in awe you could write this after going through what you went through. The last paragraphs are so perfect and cathartic. And I loved The Elephant's Tiptoe so I'm really looking forward to finding out how to read the magazine interview.❤️
Sorry for your troubles. I want for you a rapid recovery both physically and emotionally.
I know from your writing; your character contains a healthy dose of resilience and persistence.
Best to you,
No, no, no - I’m so so sorry Hannah.
I’ve been there - & not returning from a nature walk but walking home in the dark in DC in a “bad” (ie: not predominantly white) (also not expensive houses) neighborhood. Not an identical experience but also horrible. So sorry my friend.
Now, and for many years previously, I have (& have had) a big dog so I can walk around alone at night, I can go whenever, wherever I want to. Yes, I love animals and I might’ve had a dog anyway in addition to my cats.
But having an older German Shepherd affords me some peace of mind & at least the illusion of safety as a person living (very happily) alone.
I’m shaking my head in sorrow that this happened and even more that it happened to you. Sending you much healing energy my dear. (You may have to consider benching gomel this week.) We’ll talk
You tell your horror stoy well. No surprise. It's a story that doesn't yet have an end, so please don't just slam the door on Buttercup. I love the idea of 'presenting as a woman' and strolling through nature just ahead of twillight and those rough teens return and you smile at the oldest/biggest one and level the karate kick, you just learned, between his macho legs, hit the hidden siren in your coat pocket, twist out of your kick into a pirouette as you pepper spray the rest of the gang and Buttercup shakes her cute little head which activates the camera on her collar. And then you two continue your walk.
Those rotten little fucks! Hopefully the world will serve them some much deserved karma in the form of a few fists to the face. I was in tears reading this. And I truly hope that the fear does not hold you hostage, and stop you from doing what you love. It's infuriating to me that we need to think twice and keep our head on a swivel when we are out walking/hiking alone, as a female. I am so angry for you. And sorry. And I'm sending you wishes for peace. In your mind and heart. And I hope the outside wounds heal up fast as well. I really enjoy your writing. ❤️