The shirt was one of a slow succession, a procession of pale blue shirts of varying fabric (this one is Linen), that have accompanied me through my later adult years, once I’d realised a need for them. My maternal Grandmother always wore pale blue somewhere on her otherwise navy blue person, so maybe this was an unconscious nod to her. Apart from a secret pocket, bright and contrasting telling myself to ‘show up’, I’ve stitched the names of the women on both sides of my family and I haven’t finished yet. I note that the stitches hardly show up at all, having thrown them in the same dye pot as the pockets, but given the right light they do, and this is an interesting metaphor for something I’ve noticed, this process having shed more light. To varying degrees the women in my family live our lives quietly, observing and taking notice, we attentively nurture and cultivate, we stick our necks up and make our presence felt when we have to, because it is our base nature to be quiet, to hold our positions, almost invisibly, adding support from the sidelines.
No judgements here, a plethora of analysis possible, this is simply my observation and for all the help and the hindrance that this way of being has afforded me, for the most part I have felt listened to, been fed well, clothed adequately, guided inclusively, laughed with, colluded with, grieved with, have been and still are surrounded and safe. So I will keep adding names to honour ‘my women’, who by in large happily took the passenger seat whilst making the same journey, getting to the same place as the driver but sans the applause; driver and passengers all benefitting from their attentive company and presence.