July 2, 2001
I caught the ferry to Mackinac Island and spent the day in Mackinaw, a quaint place where no cars are allowed. The amatuer sociologist in me was quick to notice the three social classes evident in this resort town. An upper class used to Western style indulgence and conspicuous consumption. A middle class which has made me a person who is kept out of The Grand Hotel because I won’t pay the $10 just to look around. And the third class, Jamaicans who are the chambermaids, waiters, waitresses, and cleaners of the island. Middle class and the service class were able to come together when I returned to the mainland and was able to talk to the Jamaicans at The Family Dollar where we both shop. I asked them where they were from and they told me they come back to the island every summer to find employment. I didn’t ask them what they made and silently hoped they weren’t being taken advantage of.
Am I a selfish person to have what I want when others have to struggle for what they need? Am I willing to give what I have to others? I think back to Joni Mitchell’s song, “Both Sides Now”. I gain truth but I don’t know what to do with it. Am I just a coward? Maybe life is easier when you have no choices. Adversity pares life down to one issue, survival.
Survival of the fittest? I have read about Darwin. Survival of the fittest has nothing to do with dominance. It all has to do with adaptability, dealing with change, switching gears. I’m no longer a young woman. I have to find out what that means or maybe figure out how to better live my life as a mature person. I’m still playing by old rules and the rules have changed.
So many things to think about but I am learning things on this trip. I’m not so linked to the past as I have been on other trips and my present moments are huge. Maybe the future is no longer as big as it was when when I was younger but unknown possibilities are still out there. It’s kind of nice not knowing what is coming next.