A message from my great grandmother

Friends — instead of cleaning the house, I am doing research on a possible memoir that my spouse and I are working on about our families.

Looking for something else entirely, I came upon an article that my great grandmother, Mary Winston wrote in the Wellesley Magazine .The language is incredibly flowery; My ggm was after all a fancy white lady writing in late 19th Century Massachusetts. Still, I think it’s worth taking a look at what she has to tell other writers who identify as women:

“To the undergraduates of Wellesley, who will read this history [of writers from our college] and who are conscious of secret longings to become recruits in the field of letters, the writer of this sketch desires to make one suggestion before laying aside her chronicler’s pen. If the after life of these brave and gifted women, who were not so very long ago joyous and hopeful undergraduates, makes manifest any very striking fact, it is that far, far too often those youthful hopes have been blighted or destroyed altogether by ill health. So, my fair maids of Wellesley, if you would live to make sonnets, spend a goodly portion of your college days in making merely muscle and brawn. If you would have ” roses and jewels” drop from your lips when you speak, see to it that they first blossom in your cheeks and sparkle in your eyes.”

 Mary A. Winston, ’89, Wellesley Magazine, 1894, No. 2.

In other words, take care of yourselves, dear writers, artists and all creatives. Self-care matters.

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