we had to make them beautiful

“For me, feminism is not a theory, but a way of living one’s day-to-day life, its origins made up of incidents and observations stitched together. Some of them remain such odd shapes it’s difficult to make them fit, these old scraps of cloth that I recognize, that I wore with shame or joy. Above my desk I’ve taped a quotation that circulated around women’s groups a decade ago. Attributed simply to ‘a pioneer woman’, it reads: “We had to make the quilts fast so the children wouldn’t freeze. We had to make them beautiful so our hearts wouldn’t break.””

from ‘Piecing Together a Childhood’, by Lorna Crozier, in the anthology Click: Becoming Feminists, edited by Lynn Crosbie) (Macfarlane, Walter & Ross, 1997)