Jean D.

Material- an early memory

In my grandmother’s drawer.

I looked inside secretly and saw treasures and felt and gazed and carefully rummaged and came back again and again to kneel down and look inside the drawer.

Her silk scarf. She would have worn it just showing under a coat collar.

I don’t remember her wearing it.

Perhaps it was her treasure too.

Lilac purple with flower panels at either end. Silky soft and good to touch and smell.

And it isn’t so much the scarf which is important. I still have it, rarely look at it, have never worn it. 

It is what it represents.

It is the revelation and sense of wonder in the little girl and the link with her gentle Grandma. 

A garment      

The Coat

I remember very few garments from my childhood. just an itchy knitted swimming costume and a coat.

My parents took me to a smart shop for a winter coat. I was five or six years old. We must have had to go to the market town. The journey is not part of the memory and I have no idea what prompted this special occasion. I vaguely remember the nice lady, the tryings on and getting the right fit. But then came the choice and I was in a minority of one. I would not have the camel coat. We bought the green.

I might read a lot into this. My parents remembered it with some pride or amusement. What did it show? Perhaps one or two of the following list. But I have to remember that this is not the end of the story. Life experiences follow across the years which can blunt potential and smother creativity. What stays?

Sense of identity?

Self awareness?

Self belief?