As I work on this latest painting, trying to marry Palestinian and American sewing traditions and symbolism, I am marinating on how most cultural traditions are passed from generation to generation through women. Traditional food, clothing, dances, songs, folklore and bedtime stories....so much of what makes life interesting and worth exploring comes from the hands, mouths, and hearts of women.
Men too, of course...
I've got the children to tend The clothes to mend The floor to mop The food to shop Then the chicken to fry The baby to dry I got company to feed The garden to weed I've got shirts to press The tots to dress The can to be cut I gotta clean up this hut Then see about the sick And the cotton to pick.
Shine on me, sunshine Rain on me, rain Fall softly, dewdrops And cool my brow again.
Storm, blow me from here With your fiercest wind Let me float across the sky 'Til I can rest again.
Fall gently, snowflakes Cover me with white Cold icy kisses and Let me rest tonight.
Sun, rain, curving sky Mountain, oceans, leaf and stone Star shine, moon glow You're all that I can call my own.
--"Woman Work" by Maya Angelou