Summer, as always, is rushing by and the back-to-school feeling is calling to me. I am trying hard to resist it, but it’s getting stronger! I am hoping to get in one last hurrah before the school bell rings.
This popped up on my Facebook feed the other day, and it’s been gnawing at me. Things that gnaw at me like this usually force me into action. My brain is very annoying that way. More on this in a minute.
The Monument Quilt is a project that allows rape survivors to share their stories on quilt squares to be displayed outdoors for people to read. The quilt is touring the country, displayed in 13 cities during the month of August. The quilt on display is 100 squares. More squares will be gathered over the next two years. The final quilt will cover a square mile and be displayed on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The squares will be arranged to spell out “Not Alone”.
This project moved me deeply. Most of you know that I have found real healing in sharing my story here on my blog. The thought of thousands of survivors sharing their stories in a public way is very empowering to me. I have read several articles from some of the tour cities. I wanted to see photos of this quilt. I was particularly drawn to one commenter who didn’t see how this could be a helpful project. He/she said that it was “silly” but “it makes people feel like they’re doing something I guess”.
I disagree with this completely. No, a quilt will not bring about an end to rape. But it will promote discussion. It provides a glimpse into the real effects on real people’s lives. It is a place for survivors to gather and to share their stories without the typical “but you shouldn’t have worn that/drunk that/gone there” nonsense that we hear day in and day out.
It is a solid square mile of reassurance that it was not our fault and that we are never alone in this struggle.
So, back to my gnawing feeling.
I want to see this thing. I want my square–my story–to be in the final quilt in Washington. It’s coming to Chicago on August 19. That’s not too far for me, and it’s in between summer school and “real school”. It also makes for a really nice little vacation. I’m not sure I can pull it off. There’s finances to consider. But I think I need to.
If any of you live near one of the cities on the tour, I think it would be a worthwhile trip. I would love to hear from you if you do go see it. And if any of my readers live near Chicago, maybe I will see you there.
Here is a link that has some nice photos.