Women With Something To Say: Kirsty Gunn

Women With Something To Say: Kirsty Gunn

Charlotte Prichard, 23 November 2013

What better way to start our Saturday than an inspiring call for bravery from Faber author Kirsty Gunn? A novelist and writer of short stories, Kirsty wrote this incredible piece for us as part of our Women With Something To Say campaign. If there's one thing you do this weekend, read her blog and keep it close to your heart for the future: ‘My brave and beautiful daughter’, sings Wotan, King of the Gods, to his beloved Brunnhilde who has crossed him and disappointed him but still he can’t let her go at the end of the second opera in the mighty Ring Cycle by Richard Wagner. My brave and beautiful daughter… I used the phrase myself when my own daughters were tiny, I sang it to them when, as infants, they couldn’t sleep, when the horrors of the world they had entered were too much for them, after the safety of the womb. I sang it, said it, as they went on to nursery school and then big school and society and experience took a hold and there were children who were mean to them, or there were things they had to do that they didn’t want to do, but still they must do them. My brave and beautiful daughters, I told them. You can do anything at all. I have always said: Be Brave – to my daughters, as they grow up, to myself, as I grow on, to my sister, my friends, my students…To the women I love: Be Brave. It’s not easy, it takes a big breath, a clutch to the heart, a standing up tall – to take on the bullies, to speak your mind, to protect those who are weaker than you are, to be different from the rest - but still, stand up. Be brave, be brave. Be a woman in this man’s world of ours. Be brave. Bravery is the most beautiful kind of beauty, after all. The strongest, the surest, the kind that lasts. That shows up gods and mortals, institutions, majorities, patriarchy, looks good in high battles and in high winds, flames the cheeks and rushes the blood… So sing the song yourself and wear it as a jewel around your throat, or at your wrist! Be singular, unfettered, unshaken and resolute. Be brave. Be brave. Be brave. Thanks, Kirsty! We're definitely taking on your mantra as our own. Now it's up to you, Tatty fans! When have you had to be brave? Share your stories with us in the comments below and tweet us using the hashtag #WWSTS!
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