Friday, April 21, 2017

the muddy hem sisterhood

I wear only dresses. Cycling, clambering over broken rocks, boating, forest-wandering, grass-wading, climbing stiles and fences, making a cautious path through dirty fields of sheep : all done in long drifty skirts. It's actually perfectly easy, and I imagine women all down the centuries have managed wonderful adventures in their long skirts and petticoats. There's something quietly fulfilling about coming home trailing dust, brambles, tiny white wings of dandelion clocks, or with a sea-soaked hem clinging to your ankles. It reminds a woman that she is part of the furry brown body of the goddess.

Over at instagram, the marvellous Bryony Whistlecraft responded to my photograph (above) with the idea of an embroidered badge for those who belong to the sisterhood of Muddy Hems : women who ramble around the countryside in impractical dresses. (The gorgeous Kerrie came up with the phrase Muddy Hem Sisterhood.)

I love this idea, and am excited to see what Bryony might create. It made me imagine that perhaps I am not so unusual, as I appear to be in my particular neck of the woods where the women all wear sensible trousers (or skirts above the knee) and don't go out unnecessarily in feral conditions.

I like to think of a coterie of women who seem to have stepped out of old, irreverent stories to wade the wild places, their skirts like full moons, like billowing winds, like the voluptuous imaginations of strange girls everywhere, trawling the world for tiny bits of magic.

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