Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Fabric: the view from here

I had serious trouble taking this photo (because of my laptop being my camera now).

The first time I tried it my keyboard cover fell off.

But what I wanted to say was about a thought that occurred to me, with reference to clothing.

In the normal course of events, trotting about doing stuff, eating meals, sitting chatting to folks at home, writing – I never see my face. I don’t see my expressions, or posture, nothing like that. I see my hands, and my feet sometimes (depends where I am and how cold it is). But what I see most of is my belly and the tops of my thighs.

This can be alarming.

Sometimes when I’ve been thin, the view is not so … er … insistent, if you see what I mean. Not so reproachful. But this doesn’t last. The rest of the time my inner mother shakes its head in sadness, talking about its own self-discipline and smallness and my lack thereof. Hey, so what? But looking down on voluptuous rolls of fat isn’t always great fun. And it’s kind of distracting, in as much as … how can I put this … it makes personhood obtrube into my train of thought, derailing it. Well, not completely. My mind doesn’t crash every time I see my tummy, but it sets faintly humming a different tune from the one I was currently trying to hold.

This is partly why I like clothes that are less body-ish – kind of like robes; flowing, draping. What’s the New Testament word? Katastole?  And I like natural fabrics – the weave, the way they take the dye, that they fade, that they crease.

I like the timelessness. So that when, in the course of the day, my gaze happens to fall on the bit of me I can see, I see the fabric folds of millennia, of times past, of Tudor days and Anglo-Saxon days, of peasants, of nomads, of humanity from many continents.

Frankly, I like that better than rolls of fat.


Rebecca said...

My inner mother is shaking her head a LOT these days, too. I wish I could come to terms with her. I think it is going to take some intention and Attention. Certainly is creating quite a bit of TENSION.

Pen Wilcock said...



LANA said...

Oh that one really made me laugh! I have the same landscape when I glance down as well.