Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Pinning Quilts

neeling on the
floor beside my grandmother one senior year weekend, pinning a quilt top to batting and a sheet underneath, we were busy at unison task. Breaking the comfortable silence between us, I shared my thoughts with her. "I have decided I want to be a feminist. I am disgusted by the way women are treated in this world and I think I can do something about it."

She didn't at first acknowledge my declaration as she pulled one stick pin after another from her pursed lips before smoothing out the fabric she'd cut and sewn together in the days prior. I began to feel a sense of unease, as though perhaps she thought of me as foolish or naive in believing I was capable of such a lofty task.

Leaned down on her forearms, resting from the pain of an aging body for a moment for a few moments, then finally replied to my statement without looking up. "Well, you don't have to WANT to be something, you are it as soon as you speak it. Don't waste your entire life waiting to become, just start saying I AM and you immediately are." With that she inhaled and exhaled deeply and rose again to her working position.

I looked down at cloth she'd transformed from vision to creation in understanding, reached my fingertips gingerly into an old Cool Whip bowl to retrieve pins & continued onto the next squares. Told her through a smile "so, I guess that means I'm a feminist then" and without hesitation she replied "and if any damned body in this world is going to change things for women, I know it will be you."

Faith and wisdom of a grandmother empowers you and leaves a residual sense of support in your life, even long after your biggest fan has passed away. I may not solve every problem in an often unjust world, but because of her, I still trust in the possibility that I can do so and will never stop trying.


Vennie said...

That's so great you had a strong woman like your grandmother to tell give you the support of believing in yourself. <3

Spoken said...

I really love this. As I read your words to your grandmother and her words to you it made me think of how I always talk about being a writer one day when the truth is that I already am and always have been. This piece is exceptional. You've gained a new fan.

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