Gwen Tuinman




Dressing to Please Ourselves

I recently saw an Instagram post that asked, “When will the pandemic end? I just want to know if I should by pumps or more pajama pants.” We’re taught to dress for the occasion, but in past months we’ve been dressing for functionality and perhaps as an involuntary reflection of our mood.

Clothing, women, mood. Don’t we all have stories about this?

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Believing Each Other Into Being

I’ve begun knitting a new pair of socks in brilliant teal. Already I have a feeling they’re not for me, but for someone else. I can’t envision their face yet or connect my hunch to a voice. No one has requested socks from me. But still, I know. Knit, knit. Pearl, pearl. My earbuds are tucked in and I’m listening to the podcast On Being with Krista Tippett. She’s just quoted a line written by poet, historian, philosopher and author of Doubt, Jennifer Michael Hecht.

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People We Used to Be

I’ve been reading Joan Didion’s essay On Keeping a Notebook in which she wrote, “I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive or not.” Such a tough pill to swallow if we harbour a modicum of negativity toward chapters of our lives we deem less than stellar. Maybe we once contended for too long with shoddy treatment by a lover, or lashed our own sharp cut into someone undeserving. Maybe we ate and drank too much, or denied ourselves too much. Maybe we lamented over imperfect thighs and noses when much greater atrocities inflicted others. Maybe we authored deception or were lied to. Maybe …

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