Yes, I’ve been quiet of late. It’s been one helluva season… I moved house and studio in early December, my delightfully dodgy heart landed me in the hospital (again) during the holidays, I’m sore and shaken from a recent car accident, and we’ve had this huge, traumatically divisive election season. I got quiet because I was (and am) taking care of myself and other things that were higher up the list than blogging. But a facet of the truth is that I’ve been struggling with what to say.
Readers desire a certain amount of intimacy with the lives of their writers. We want to know what’s going on personally, thinking that if we understand a bit of what’s behind the green curtain, we can better relate to the parts we can see. Women like to discover the things we have in common with each other – it helps us build community. And like most writers, I share things with you to help build connections in our relationship. I’m cool with telling you a little about my life, home, and family, and I appreciate the stories you write back to me, too. But with any sharing comes a fear of being shunned for what you say and how you appear, and in business, one has to always consider what the costs of speaking publicly might be.
As a formally educated artist, I’m comfortable with the concept of blending the personal and the political. Arts aside, we make political decisions all the time, most of them consciously motivated. I have friends whose diets are influenced by their thoughts on how meat is raised, or which companies create the toxic chemicals used on our food. We can make these types of decisions about ANYTHING; for instance, I bought recycled printer paper last week… it was a conscious choice. I guess what I’m saying is that I can’t really separate the personal and the political – and nor do I think it’s necessary to do so.
So, what that means here, at Hunter’s Design Studio, is that sometimes I get visibly political. While my life is full of fabric and patterns and friends who need a hand with their blog tours, it’s also full of thoughts and worries about things that are going on in the world. And when it weighs heavily on me, I write about it. It means that I’m going to say/write what I think, and that I’m going to take a stand – I don’t really know how to be any other way. It means I’ll listen to a well-reasoned response even if I don’t agree with it (and I think we ALL need to improve at listening to opposing views), but I’ll delete pure hate and hostility. It means that YOU get to know who you’re doing business with. And as I’ve said before, you are always welcome to not hang out here with me – just scroll by or unfollow; I will bid you adieu and wish you nothing but the best.
I’m taking a stand out in the world for the same things I have taken a stand for within the quilting industry as part of We Are $ew Worth It. I want women to earn as much as their male counterparts, and I want them recognized and respected equally. I want our industry and country to be fair and welcoming to our differences, and inclusive of the broad diversity we encompass. I want opportunities to be available to more than just the people of privilege. I want us to take care of each other in our dealings. I want every person to understand their value to their community, quilting or otherwise. And I really want us to start embracing the shades of gray in everything, rather than standing in rigid absolutes at the opposite poles of any argument.
So many bad things in history have happened because people were afraid to speak up. As women we are cultured to NOT speak up, to NOT rock the boat, to NOT make waves. As a woman business owner, the pressure to be seemly is doubled down with a dose of economic fear: don’t rock the boat or people might not buy your product. And I guess I’ll just have to roll with that because I’m done with being quiet about the things that outrage me, and the time for silence is long gone.
No, I’m not going to be ranting here daily, but you can count on me to have an opinion. And you can definitely count on me to speak up for people who need a champion.
Just wanted you to know that. And now that I’ve said it, maybe I can get back to writing other things too 🙂