Removing the shutters
Somewhere in the middle of last month, while working through my initial reactions to the conversations about racism in the knitting community, I saw the danger of avoiding the Political. In the words of others, who didn't want their false picture of a cosy community disrupted, I saw a reflection of myself. In the last couple of years I have tried to shut out the world when I haven't liked what I am seeing. When I sought to avoid the Political I attempted to also avoid the political. I hadn't fully acknowledged that. I hadn't seen that even being able to attempt to avoid the political, was due to my layers of privilege. If anything, I'd resisted acknowledging it, because I felt like I didn't have the strength to work against the structures that distribute so unfairly.
I'll be forever grateful to the women that spoke up, and continue to speak up. Grateful that finally they are being heard more widely, more loudly than before. I'll be forever sorry I didn't do better. That I hadn't heard, and seen clearly, how much people were made invisible and treated unfairly in a creative community that helped me to feel more me. Witnessing that pain and suffering bust open the shutters. As I've read and reflected it has become clear to me that the shutters only held me down and enforced a narrative of powerlessness.
I've felt defeated. Too small and weak to make a difference. Instead of staying open, looking for all the opportunities in the everyday, instead of feeding the fires within I tried to tell myself that not actively doing wrong was enough. Action is vital: standing by weeping, or trying to shut out reality, poisons us from the inside and gives power to those we struggle against. We are all more powerful than we realise. I see clearly again that action comes in many forms and always starts within. I will do better.