‘hold fast’ bandana
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hand dyed and printed bandana to be used as a talisman for valuing your voice
hand-drawn snake design
mantra “hold fast” on one corner
handmade in winston-salem, north carolina
21″ X 21″
100% southern grown + milled cotton
machine wash cold
This bandana has a deeper meaning to it than most. When I look at it, I see a transition of what life was like before March and what it is now. I see how much we have learned and will hopefully continue to learn. I see the pain and loss. I see the navigation around roadblocks to new and different ways of connecting. I see hope and strength.
Webster’s defines “hold fast” as to hold tightly or to continue to believe in or adhere to an idea or principle.
I sort of agree with webster’s but want to offer my way of looking at it. I think it’s more about continuing to believe or adhere to your idea of yourself, your principles, boundaries, and priorities. Defining these ideas of and for yourself and then, by golly, holding fast to them.
As our calendars were erased earlier this year, we spent days and weeks and months inside, moving much slower and more intentionally through our lives. We had the opportunity to reconsider ourselves. I certainly did. As the world shifted from going here and there and everywhere, to going nowhere it became clear to me that I needed to take a long look at how I was spending my time and who I was spending that time with. Time is precious, as you know. I sifted through my engagements and friends like a closet that hadn’t been cleaned out in years. Looking closely, I considered whether I wanted to come back out into the world wearing some of these old thoughts and habits, or if it was time for them to go.
I also became more aware of the anchor that I have within myself. When the seas get rough and you are feeling tossed around by life, do you look outside yourself for that stability or do you anchor to yourself? My mental health journey and subsequently becoming fiercely authentic i realized I anchor deeply to myself and I am infinitely grateful for that stability. I hold fast to what I know is true… then the world flipped upside down again.
Due to the stagnancy of the pandemic, we were all poised and watching when George Floyd was murdered on the street in Minneapolis. It was heartbreaking and undeniably an act of hateful violence. If we had previously been able to turn a blind eye from the reality of what it means to be black in the United States, it was clear that that time is over. It is no longer excusable for anyone to bury their heads in the sand. There is work to be done. The world got up from its couches and responded with a firm outcry, Black Lives Matter. I saw hard shells of cloaked systemic racism cracked open right along with our hearts. I truly no longer see the world the same way as I did before May 25th. I listen to black people about their experience, but I also pay close attention to my reactions and thoughts. It was clear I had some shedding and relearning to do. I needed to dig deeper to find the next, more authentic place to hold fast that aligned with my clearer view of the world.
This is not a one-time thing, y’all. This realigning, this anchoring will happen over and over! Each new day offers a chance to be curious and questioning. The holding fast happens as you measure that new information against what you know is true to your heart and mind. Sometimes you will respond with, “nope, that’s not right to me.” But other times, you will look intently and need to adjust your grip, constantly moving closer and closer to the truth, to the love.
I heard Glennon Doyle say once that we are all on a journey of digging deep into the earth in search of the truth. Our ways of digging may look different, our tools may look different, but we are all on that path.
I added the visual of a snake to this bandana as they are an ancient symbol of our life force and vitality, especially around transformation and life changes. I am out here with a shovel, digging, learning, changing and I welcome you to come dig with me. Let’s keep digging. Let’s keep asking ourselves hard questions and discovering more about truth and love and kindness and humanness.
And as we do, let’s hold fast.
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