I gently unravel the knots, patiently picking at glimpses of the women in the historical record, teasing out each event or mention, giving each some air, some space. And then I lay the freed thread next to the others, searching for the original pattern. That’s how I thought about my work on the women of King Edward III’s court during a week of silence in the forest. Another image that came to mind was stepping into an attic filled with chests of clothes and belongings, long forgotten, wondering where to start, how to choose. Nothing to do but follow instinct. Eventually, with patience, I’ll unpack all of it, lovingly laying it all out, stepping back, “listening” to what essence, color, texture remains.

And then I look for a question to explore.

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