The Monument Quilt

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.

The Monument Quilt

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.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. threekidsandi
    Aug 11, 2014 @ 19:32:55

    I hope the sheer size of that brings home how pervasive rape is. Our culture needs to be less tolerant of it and do more to foster the idea that it is unacceptable.


  2. Aimee
    Aug 11, 2014 @ 19:47:55

    That’s so true. And when you realize that the mile of quilt only represents a fraction of the survivors out there. It’s a mind boggling and very sobering thought. I hope many non-survivors come out to view it as well. It reminds me of the AIDS quilt awhile back.


  3. joynpain2
    Aug 12, 2014 @ 06:14:37

    OMG! It was right here in my city and I didn’t hear about it. I don’t have a real story to tell, seeing as how I do believe that what happened was my fault, but I would have loved to see the quilt anyway. I hate that I missed it while it was here.


    • Aimee
      Aug 12, 2014 @ 10:25:41

      It’s never your fault. Please don’t think that. I have spent 30 years blaming myself. It’s a hard mindset to get out of.


      • joynpain2
        Aug 12, 2014 @ 10:50:07

        I suppose I should bring it up someday in therapy. I kind of put it out of my mind for years, but you never know how things like that can affect you later.

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