I don't consider myself a particularly political person. I vote, and occasionally I'll be moved to contact one of my elected officials over an issue (and occasionally I'll even hear back). I once took my two young boys to my US Rep's daytime "town meeting" so I could add my two cents about health care reform, despite the glarey looks from one woman in particular who seemed to think that even though moms of young children might vote and might have opinions, they shouldn't show up in public unless their kids are sedated or not present. But really, that's about the extent of it as far as public politics. I've never gone out and protested anything. I do have thoughts and opinions, but I tend to try to live what I think in a quiet way, through how I vote and where we send charitable donations, for instance.
When I saw the announcement on Mr. X Stitch about Hanne Bang's new project (either of those links will take you to an explanation), I knew I'd participate. I suppose it's a political statement, but that wasn't my first thought. What I thought was, That is a simple fact of truth.
I don't know. I can't say no wars are justified, because, well, we live in a world that spawned Hitler. I do wonder why it has to get that far, so often. I have no good answers for my kids. I thought about these things as I stitched, and I thought about how the language of war has infiltrated our language, how we say This means war! or declare a war against this or that or the other. And how that means that someone is going to win, and someone is going to lose, and there is no in-between or room for negotiation, because in a war, someone has to die. Someone has to lose, if we're saying it's war.
So I'm sending my embroidered handkerchief off to Denmark, where hopefully it will be joined with lots more from all over the world and displayed as a reminder of this simple truth. And I'm paying attention to how often I unwittingly use or even think language that sets up that dichotomy of winner and loser because that, at least, is something over which I have control.
The craft-minded details: I ironed a piece of freezer paper to the back of the handkerchief to make it easier to write on (hat doffed to my sister for telling me about that trick), then wrote the phrase in my own handwriting using a washable fabric marker. (I peeled the freezer paper off when I was done writing.) When I finished the embroidery, I sprayed the handkerchief with water to remove the marker. The handkerchief came from my father-in-law.