There is a risk in telling another’s story especially when passed down through the family and there are many layers to a life that each person may only glimpse part of. It was with trepidation that Judith took on the task of peeling back the layers – smells, memories, photographs, family tales, official records – to trace the stories of her ordinary, imperfect female forebears. Partly to give them voice, when women’s stories are often forgotten or ignored, but for a greater part she admired their resilience, their ability to maintain their balance when life’s challenges left them teetering on the brink of an emotional abyss. She wanted to demonstrate how resilience can be nurtured within a spirit of community connectedness, through a sense of belonging.
As Judith gathered the women and their stories to her she realised she was being gathered in as much as she was gathering. Her story weaving through the stories she was recording. Facing her own emotional abyss, she experienced the nurturing of a community of women who understood the journey.