Walking in the World

Tag Archives: Pussy Hats

Pussy Project

Three weeks on and the Women’s March is still reverberating in my psyche. The world has changed, and so have I – my task has been to figure out what that means and how I want to move forward in this crazy world. As is my custom, I’ve used my knitting needles to quiet me enough to be able to hear and make sense of my own thoughts

The protest was a game changer for me, though I don’t think that protesting publicly is necessarily my calling in life. Will I do it again? Absolutely, but with care and discernment. Being in a crowd of that size was exciting and powerful, but it exacted a deep energetic toll from me. I have been grateful for the opportunity to take some time and space to unpack the experience slowly and carefully.

Inviting my needles to punctuate my inner dialogue, I designed and made a pair of socks, knitting them to tell the story of my initiation into activism. I ordered wool to match my pink pussy hat, then added green cuffs and toes to symbolize the rooting and growth of activism. The speckled heels coordinate with a friend’s socks, and remind me of the need to collaborate and build community. The pattern I used is named after Hermione of Harry Potter fame – a modern day hero(ine) who both acknowledges and embodies her magical soul. I can now clothe myself with courage when I need to step out of my comfort zone.

With those socks finished, I turned back to the mini hats I made and wore around my neck when I marched in London on January 21st. Seven hats symbolized seven women who could not join in the march in person. Their presence on my garland supported and encouraged me, and allowed me to include them in the global community of protesters. Let me tell you how that idea was born…

Looking at the Women’s March in London Facebook page the week before the march, I happened to see a sweet post by a woman who wished the marchers well, but who couldn’t attend in person. Spontaneously, I offered to take her name with me, an offer she gladly accepted. At the same time, a few other women asked me to walk in their names as well. So, I did what I do… I got out my knitting needles, enlisted a knitterly friend, and we made a miniature pussy hat for each woman. We then crocheted them all together, interspersed with hearts from my 60th birthday art project, thus anchoring those women into the fabric of my life. For that day, we walked together in spirit, with our arms around each other as we joined with the MILLIONS of others marching in cities around the world. We walked as one!

Today I cut up that garland so that I can mail each hat to the woman it represents.  And my new facebook friend? Antonia and I have stayed in touch. An experienced and heart-full protester, she’s given me incredible advice and support before and after the march, and shared some of her poetry with me, along with permission to share it here:

 The Women’s March
by Antonia Sara Zenkevitch

A big shout out to all those who rose today
Marching for democracy, for political honesty,
They who, in solidarity, get in fascists’ way
By demanding greater fairness and equality,
Taking to streets and tweets to have their say,
No one should suffer violence, exile, shame
For their gender, faith, love, ability, culture,
Place of beginning, that’s all a blaming game,
While my body stops me from being with you there
Another still conveys me, she holds my name
Written in her pocket, merged with the hope in me,
As you raise your chants and feet again, again, again,
We walk beside you, though our footfalls you won’t see,
Side by side together, folk and cities we can’t name
Linked this day and after, to help deal with what may be
Thousands next to thousands, so many now awake,
No time to be demure now, time to write our herstory
For dignity, survival and for our shared future’s sake.

13 Feb 2017

Roaring into 2017

womensmarchlondon1

There is a lot of pink in Labyrinthos HQ this week. And black, too. In solidarity with the many who protest the Trump inauguration, I’m dressed head to toe in black today, and have blacked out our television and news feeds during the ceremonies in Washington. It feels kind of petty, but I needed to do it anyway. But my pink knitting? That’s another matter entirely.

pussyhat1

Along with hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, I’ll be marching in support of human rights and fundamental decency tomorrow. I’ve been knitting pink pussy hats to wear and share, and am taking that small act one step further by knitting a series of mini hats to carry on behalf of others who would march if only they could. My mother who died 37 years ago (and definitely wouldn’t appreciate the world situation now), friends who don’t have local marches to join, and a total stranger I met online who won’t be marching in London because of health issues. She is a veteran of numerous past protest marches, and has been a great support as I’ve prepared to walk out of my comfort zone this week.

I don’t want to turn this blog into a political platform, but 2016 has taken the world in some directions that alarm me, and (like many) I am using my annual winter hibernation to think about how I want to respond, and how I want to walk forward into 2017 and beyond. I started by looking for a word, as I do most years. I worked with Susannah Conway‘s (free) workbook, exploring my thoughts and feelings until finally one word knocked all the other contenders out of the arena. I wanted something sweet and hopeful, I really did,. Something nice to counteract the hatred that seems to be boiling in the air. I narrowed my choice down to two words, cultivation and creativity. Great words. Super words. But under my skin, I was itching, and those words didn’t even begin to address my discomfort. Mrs Nice just can’t take this any more! I heard myself start to mutter and moan, and what I really wanted was to roar with indignation and despair. Actually, not just roar, but ROAR!

And there I met my word for the year. It scares me. Challenges me. Inspires me. Time to step up and out of my comfort zone. Whatever that means. This week it means showing up for the Women’s March on London.

And I have some great adventures ahead of me this year…

 

20 Jan 2017

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