Full stop.

As the close of 2020 arrived I found I started to think about full stops. It seemed weird to me at first, why am I thinking of a piece of punctuation, then I realised the power that a full stop can elicit. 

Its more than a dot on a page, a dot that appears at the end of a sentence, it commands attention, it dictates the end of something, it marks a pause a break, before the next bit starts, or it just brings it to a complete stop, no more to be read, seen or to be heard. 

Narratives can be left on a cliff edge with the simple placement of this small dot, lives can be changed in stories forever, great love affairs can start and end, lives can change beyond recognition all because of this one small dot. 

Well how the heck does this relate to Anotherhood, to women without children, you might say, well… 

I was thinking about the full stop that society can often predict. 

Its can appear to feel like if you do not have children, a full stop is placed right in the middle of your life, and its there plain as day. That full stop becomes bigger, and bigger until at times it can feel insurmountable.  You push with all your weight into that full stop but it just won’t shift. 

Who are you, what are you if you are a woman without children? 

Well that’s just it, its just a wee dot, a wee dot placed by someone else, placed with power that can skew your own perspective, even if we know the path of motherhood is not for us. 

How do you make that full stop still have power, but let it be placed where you want it to be. 

My full stop was placed in one part of my story, it was placed in the firmly knowing I could not have children and this was a part of my story. 

Until the holidays and the passing of a family member I had not thought about having or wanting children for a several years, but all of a sudden there was a feeling inside me, and a wish I could have children. 

Its not unsettled me, but reminded me that the full stop can shift and move, and our knowing of self shifts and changes as life around us evolves and sometimes a full stop is placed at the close of someone’s life. 

That full stop made me wonder about what drives us to have children? 

I would say I have never been driven to have children, I have never been broody, but now I have a feeling I have not had before, it feels alien, and I know is a part of the grieving process. 

As I type I don’t know if I am making sense, I just know I wish to get it onto paper, and I also know it doesn’t need to make sense, because life sometimes doesn’t really make sees, and I know I have the habit of overthinking life. 

But what I want to close with is… 

Simply that a full stop is not and does need to be a defining moment in or lives. Yes I am not able to have children, but that full stop does not define me, it has power and strength to punctuate a point, but I am the one that will place it at the end of where it needs to be. 

Today I am a woman that cannot have children, and a woman who feels a deep-seated tug deep inside that feels like something is unknown and shifting within. Today I am me, doing my thing and processing as I go. 

Today this is my full stop. 

And tomorrow it can, and may change. 

Be the placer of your full stop, and be empowered to create the punctuation in your life, in your narrative, in your world of being a woman without children. 

Art speaks a thousand words.

Right now it seems so hard to know what to write, there seems so many larger things happening in the world than a life without children.

Kadi’s and my conversations have focused on the pandemic, black lives mater and what we can do as individuals and as Anotherhood to support, help and and continue to grow and develop our roles in our lifetime.

 

We have discussed our next move, what we should post, what’s right, what isn’t and what we have seen that feels right to us.

Then we realised it comes back to something that unites us all, our female intuition, that innate natural source of energy from within.

The one that guides us, and if we tune in, leads the way in its own time, without rushing, but by taking time to reflect, learn and digest what we see, hear and feel.

 

We are in this for the long haul, Anotherhood is about equality, all voices are valid, and we want to share as many as we can.  Representing different cultures, backgrounds, and experiences, through our words and through the artwork we share.

We are keen to develop a creative section on our site, one that shows women’s artwork, that’s beautiful, reflective and emotive.  Kadi and I both work in the creative industries and so creativity forms part of our every day lives.

Artwork can speak a thousand words when words are not available, and it can bring peace, it can raise questions, and it can answer questions.  It can hold and contain something, which we are unable to express.

Art provides an intimate relationship, between viewer and the piece; no one reaction will be the same, and art is like a human, individual and unique.

To start this off we are going to share a piece of work by Abstract painter Alma Thomas.

 

Alma Thomas

 

Alma Thomas stated

“Through colour, I have sought to concentrate on beauty and happiness, rather than on man’s inhumanity to man.” 

Alma Thomas created bright colourful abstract work that invites you to drift off, find letting your eyes wander through the pattern and your thoughts to stop and be lost with the beauty of her mark making.

We invite you to sit, take a moment and let your mind wander as you take in the quiet natural rhythm within her work.

 

almathomas_homepage

 

Alma Woodsey Thomas (September 22, 1891 – February 24, 1978) was an African-American Expressionist painter and art educator best known for her colourful abstract paintings. She lived and worked primarily in Washington, D.C. and The Washington Post described her as a force in the Washington Colour School.  The Wall Street Journal described her in 2016 as a previously “underappreciated artist” who is more recently recognized for her “exuberant” works, noteworthy for their pattern, rhythm and colour. Thomas remains an influence to young and old as she was a cornerstone for the Fine Arts at Howard University, started a successful art career later in her life, and took major strides during times of segregation as an African-American female artist. Thomas believed that creativity should be independent of gender or race, creating works with a focus on accidental beauty and the abstraction of colour.

 

Anotherhood is an organic process, that Kadi and I are developing it as we grow and learn from each other and the wonderful community of women we have found since first sharing Anotherhood and the ever shifting landscape of the world around us.   We see it as a collaborative process, with the women we interview and with what we post.

 

So we want to ask you, what do you feel you want to see more of on Anotherhood?

We want you all to be active participants, to feel that you have a voice in what we cover, write about or explore.

Let us know our thoughts or if you want to share your story send us a email Anotherhood.info@gmail.com or send is a message of Instagram or Facebook.