In Greece, red embroidery around the neck, the wrist, any opening to the vulnerable heart, is meant to keep the evil spirits out. Mirrored embroidery in northern India, reflecting above the door of a simple home, keeps the same unwanted havoc away. Amulets all over Western Asia are on constant vigil against those who would harm the human heart -- protecting the child, the pregnant mother, the young, the old. They stare back, an eye to an eye, deflecting the unwanted.
It's said that the eye is the window to the soul, and that it opens both ways. No wonder amulets developed, protective covers standing firm against the bombardment of the world. The guarding eye says, I will decide what enters my soul and what does not. Like the Pakistani women of The Indus Heritage Foundation embroidering these pieces - they are deciding each day what hope might enter their life . . . and what restrictions, fear, what judgements to turn away.
I like to think that, while I have the chance, I might really look at this stunning world. Put my eyes on it. Love whatever there is to love, which is more than I can see in a lifetime. And send the rest away.
Here's to that choice for all women.
All the Best,
Susan Hull Walker