Life 8 – Motherland is nearly ready for painting.
Above is the nearly complete stitched and appliqued quilt.
The story is a simple one; it’s about reflecting on what might have been and what was but being happy anyway. Thinking about potential and wondering if time and life has been well spent. The first words you read were actually said to me by my father in about 1964, and my brothers were indignant and said it was unfair that I could switch off and wouldn’t have to work hard at school. It was all complete nonsense of course, and like most people I had a job and a family and had to juggle both and do the best I could. I don’t know if my father was from a different age or just had individually peculiar ideas! I have also never varnished by toenails and am a fairly awful cook!
“When I was 10, I asked my father what subjects I should take at school and what I should be when I grew up. He said it didn’t matter because I would be a wife and mother and my husband would look after me. He said it was important for me to learn to cook and to look pretty. My brothers were furious at my escape from supposed drudgery and toil.
So I made sure I fulfilled my parents expectations and married at 16 to the first man who’d have me. I made a really good sponge cake, and varnished my toe nails.
My brothers were stupid. What could be more demanding and time consuming than being a mother. It’s the ultimate career and every other career exists to support it. I did the work of 20 for free, and lived in heaven and hell at the same time. I was racked with self-doubt, panic, insecurity, tiredness and indignity. I found strengths I didn’t know I had and suffered fears I didn’t know existed. I found that happiness is made up of tiny moments and wasn’t an ultimate destination. I learned how unselfish I could be, and forged chains of flesh and blood.
I often used to wonder what would have happened if my father had expectations beyond a wife and mother for me, say, an astronaut, or a doctor. Now I’m older, I wonder if he chose the hardest career of all.”
Below is a series of close ups of the different Villages on my map. You can begin to see 5 distinct villages with welcome signs, called …. Happiness, twinned with Love, Worry twinned with Stress, Fear twinned with Mortality, Love twinned with Sacrifice, and Sacrifice twinned with Bondage.
Each village is made up of roads and doodly pictures to illustrate those feelings, and the whole is bound together by the figure – the Mother.