What do women need in order to write, be creative, fulfil their potential? The writer Virginia Woolf claimed it was ‘ A room of one’s own’ and wrote about this in the book with that title. I am back now in my sanctuary room at Navasola and adding a few more finishing touches to my novel. I am struggling a bit with the time needed to fully prepare for self publishing and still trying to be noticed by agents I send the work to. 12 weeks wait now!
Looking at what I have needed in the past I am grateful to those who fought for our right to vote in the UK. I am also grateful to all those who pressed for better working conditions and maternity rights. Without these steps life would be quite different today.
In Manchester we were fortunate to go to some art exhibitions linked to those in the suffragette movement. It is one hundred years since women were given the vote. One very creative artist who painted and drew working women in the North of England gave up her art work to devote all her time to the suffragette cause. A loss for Art ? A gain for all women. Some of her work is below and can be seen in the Manchester Art Gallery.
Sylvia Pankhurst, daughter of Emily Pankhurst, was a trained artist and went on a journey to various places to record the lives of working women in 1907. The Pankhurst family are famous for their leading role in the Votes for women/ suffragette movement. This collection belongs to her granddaughter.
After seeing this collection we thought this would have made a wonderful book and record of the lives of women like our grandmothers. One friend’s mother worked in the potteries. Here the use of lead had terrible effects on health. My granddaughter, Olivia’s great, great Aunt started work at age 14 in the Bolton spinning mills. However, Sylvia Pankhurst was compelled to spend all her time on the Votes for Women campaign and all those women worked tirelessly to create the change needed for our generation.
During my time in the U.K. I have been attending to all the wonderful stuff that we women often have to attend to. Family and friends and looking to the future.
I have enjoyed watching my baby granddaughter go through some amazing changes in the past two months. From beginning to grasp with one hand to coordinating both hands to bring things to her mouth. Getting ready to feed herself? Rolling one way and getting stuck to rolling both ways and onto stomach and back. Getting ready to move herself along! And lots of sounds as she experiments with her voice. But the most amazing smiles as she has fun and recognises us.
It seems important to really stand up for the right to a clean and safe environment and to protect our planet and the natural world from further destruction. The young people of this century deserve this and our generation must listen and respond with actions.
Spain and Navasola have been busy too, responding to events. Thankfully a lot of rain in the Sierra has created much green and new running streams at the finca. In Spain, there have been some amazing marches all over the country for women on International women’s day.
I can also only salute and give support to the young people of America suffering from the effects of gun crime and their determination to overcome personal tragedy and create a safer society.
Change has happened. Change will happen.
Sometimes as with Sylvia Pankhurst we have to sacrifice our own individual creativity in order to give time to create the changes that are needed. Sometimes we have to harness that creativity to be part of the changes needed.
In love and hope to all who follow my blog or just pass by.