This One's for the Lawyers
An old co-worker (Elisabeth Ryan) posted this a couple days after the first Muslim ban was challenged in court and it captured all the love and pride I'm feeling for my old profession.
"Ever since I read The Stand in 8th grade, I have periodically thought about how I would be useful in the aftermath of an apocalypse (bear with me, I'm totally serious here). And I have long since concluded that I would not be useful at all. I have few practical skills like electricians and plumbers. As a lawyer, I would be completely irrelevant in a world without a legal system. Crafting, writing, baking, waiting tables... all pretty useless skills after an apocalypse.
BUT yesterday and today I thought about the time immediately before an apocalypse and realized that LAWYERS ARE THE FRONT LINES TO KEEP US FROM GETTING THERE. Perhaps not in an epidemic situation like my beloved The Stand (I leave that to my medical friends), but in the world we're facing right now, it was LAWYERS who literally got on the ground on a Saturday night in airports and WON an injunction against a despotic immigration ban. It is LAWYERS who are offering free advice and representation and demanding the release of illegally detained people. LAWYERS CAN FIGHT THIS FIGHT AND WILL LEAD THIS FIGHT."
This comic by Sam Machado captured it pretty well too.
I've been trying to capture it also, with a quilt reflecting these bright spots in the darkness. For me, a lot of those spots involve lawyers.
For inspiration, I started with Ruth Bader Ginsburg's dissent collar. Women on the Supreme Court wear a frilly lace collar with their black robes - RBG takes it to the next level and has a dissent collar that she typically wears when she's authored a dissent to an opinion being issued. The day after Trump was elected she reportedly wore it on the bench, even though there were no opinions being issued that day.
Years ago when she was interviewed by Katie Couric, Katie asked her why she called this her dissent collar:
RBG answered, "It looks fitting for dissents." There is something gladiator about the black and burnished gold. Dark, tough, stubborn, protective, a touch of f. you. I came up with this:
For the jewels on the collar I tried beads, buttons and appliqued gold fabric, but finally settled on fabric paint for the right effect. The lines are double stitching with gold thread.
I flipped it to turn it into a warrior sun - there's something almost headdress-y about it.
I couldn't resist making the sky out of courthouse step blocks, where the light of justice is (one hopes) found at the top.
A lot of the fabrics have a science/literature theme to them. I quilted it with gold thread for the rays.
The quilting on the gold reminds me of a gambeson (quilted armor) shoulder.
This is not my usual aesthetic or color palette, but these times ain't pretty. Love, love, love to all those people using their argumentative dispositions and educations for the common good.