Vintage linens piled up on the floor around me as I pulled them out of the pale green wooden cabinet. I was looking for just the right piece, even though I had no idea what it would be. But I knew I’d know it when I saw it.
Most of the linens have flowers embroidered on them, I put aside a pillowcase that was a possibility and a tablecloth with blue flowers printed on it. Then I remembered the Victorian Women. I knew I had several linens with Victorian Women embroidered on them.
When I pulled out the apron, my search was over.
It’s like the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. Although I didn’t know what the pieces were until I finished the apron.
The apron with the Victorian woman and umbrella was gathered at the apron string as most aprons are. But I wanted it to hang flat on my body so the words would be visible. The first thing I did was cut the apron string off and replace it with a piece of muslin.
I thought I’d write the words with marker than paint them, but as I drew the words, I liked how the woman was still visible through the sketchy marker. I also liked the feeling of spontaneity.
The apron is a symbol of women and their traditional place in society. It would cover the part of my body that the government is trying to have control over. And it’s a form of protection.
The apron also made me think of the Carl Sanberg Poem Aprons Of Silence, which inspired one of my early quilts, with the same name.
I am determined, although not always successful, not to be silenced about anything in my life anymore, including when it comes to my right to have control over my body, and essentially, my life.
I wore the apron to the Bans Off Our Bodies rally in Glens Falls Saturday afternoon.
I’ll admit I’m never comfortable when it comes to the “call and answer” that goes on in any big gathering. Even at concerts, I’m not one to sing along. Maybe it reminds me of being in church where I was taught to say things I never really understood. Or maybe it’s the legacy of my own inability to speak up.
So I kept to applauding and zagareeting when I was moved, and I made my feelings known with the apron tied around my waist.
When I got home, I hung the apron in my studio for the next march or rally.