RE: Paula, I don't know what you were like as a kid or a teen, but if my dear departed Mama had been told I would grow up to be a woman who liked tidiness and order she never would have believed it. For me it was definitely a long time coming.
I think we were separated at birth. Of my 41 years 5 months I have been a thorough, unrelenting slob for about 41 years and 3 months. I don't know what happened but I looked around my house and though; OMG has this house ALWAYS been this filthy? In my dead profile (the one I couldn't get in to) I talked about cleaning the top of my fridge for the first time...ever. The butcher block counter tops took an entire evening of scouring! I had a sister-friend come by and help me one day. I still have the bedroom, vestibule and mud room to do, but this is now very important to me. This started happening around the same time I felt the need to go from Friend attender (for about 8 years) to Friend member.
My theory is that just like chaos in your mind is reflected by chaos in your space, order in my mind calls for order in my space. I don't know how else to describe what a radical change has occurred in my life. My focus is definitely different right now. And I will wear it as long as I can :).
I love your blog on not covering because you're a feminist and I had to laugh. I hadn't taken such a stand, but I was not looking for a bonnet or a prayer cap or anything, but I have very long dreads and tie them up in a couple of yards of fabric to keep the schmutz out of my hair too. Then I was at Katie's Mercantile looking for an apron (I absolutely adore Katie's Mercantile http://www.katiesmercantile.com/index.html) and found this gathered cap (see my photos) and thought it would be brilliant for the schmutz-keeping-out job. Now I'm sold. I bought 4 more. Now I have them making me some snoods. This cap has changed how I wear my hair every day. I used to wear scarves and ties for fashion, now I wear them all the time. Why? Neatness, tidiness and order apparently have become very important to me right now. Go figure.
Perhaps if I get brave enough to try Meeting for Worship I won't raise too many eyebrows?
I doubt it. Yesterday I went down to the post office in my cap. It was fine. I got lots of smiles. I think you should go for it.
Because of that, all clothing is a form of costume. No matter what we wear it's not what we "are", it's how we are choosing to present ourselves.
I think this gives us a great opportunity.
Opportunity for what? I'm still working on figuring that out.
I think it's an opportunity fraught with perils. We have the opportunity to save people from the cynicism of the world by showing them we haven't all succumbed. We have the opportunity to show people an alternative. The peril is that wearing the symbols of our beliefs makes us vulnerable to the vanity of these symbols. You know what I mean? Our plain clothes can become the flag sticker on the car, the crucifix around the neck, etc - the sum total of our beliefs. This way there is no daily struggle to live the right way.
You're most welcome!
Magdalena is a fiery Spaniard.
John George is a fiery Australian.
Come and make your comments freely!
We're both Anglicans.
And we're both radically independent.
She is both my counsel and my 'partner-in-crime', so to speak.
But we like peaceful thinkers too.
She's from a Roman-Catholic and I am from an Anarchist-Quaker Anglican background.
It's an odd mixture but it seems to work.
Join the fun, won't you Leslie?
I don't sew yet (beyond being able to fix things) but I plan to learn. The neatest dress I ever bought I got at Shukr.com (a resource on Quaker Jane's site) http://www.shukronline.com/wd0421.html That Maha dress is so comfortable! I wear it at home so much I've gotten bleach on the hem! I got it on sale, and may go back and buy another (I have the brown).
She's right in a way. We all draw attention to ourselves, but as you observed; darned if you do darned if you don't. She is also dressing to draw attention. I guess the question is what is the purpose of this attention. Isabel, on her Quaker Jane site speaks of plain dress as a visual koan http://quakerjane.com/spirit.friends/plain_dress-defense.html I think the pressure then is to live up to your own standards, and that is intimidating.
My meeting doesn't have plain dressers, but in a way they do. One gentleman wears banded collars and no ties. Most wear inconspicuous clothes. Another Friend wears a head scarf or bandanna. A few women wear long skirts. I fit right in without a blink with my long skirts, modest tops, and head scarves. I think my snoods would not cause a ripple. I've mentioned in passing that I wear a cap at home.
Just wanted to say 'hello'.
Your journey seems interesting to me.
And the picture of your kitchen - cosy!
You'll find our forums quite fun. Informative too.
Maybe I'll see a few comments,forums and blogs of your own soon? Looking forward to it.
I hope along your journey, that here you will find some comfort. I have.
Isn't it brilliant? I don't Facebook, but I do QuakerQuaker! Here's a blog I frequent. You might like it as well. Magdalena is Anglican Plain and blogs about wonderful topics like the beauty of the mundane (home tasks, etc), food waste, hoarding, work and home life, etc. http://magdalenaperks.wordpress.com/
Welcome, Leslie. Your understanding of God mirrors mine, and I am also led to some kind of plain existence. At home I wear dresses, skirts, and a cap. Out in the world I wear skirts, modest clothes and scarves or bandannas. I'm going to have Katie's Mercantile make me some snoods! Slowly but surely I'm coming out of the Plain closet. I wore my cap and apron to the neighbors. I wore my cap down to a friend's house. It is hard because I am not sure I'm not trying to wear this in the World for attention or something. That's not quite true either. I think I'm worried I won't live up to my own ideals? Eh who knows. I'm still working on it.