I finished my certification classes at SF Center for the Book a few weeks ago and in the last class we made a collaborative book. We voted on themes ranging from Thoreau quotes to something like breakfast preferences. We landed on one everyone could relate to; Fears. We named the book Fraidy Cat (although after printing we realized it might have been fun//confusing to non-class members to name it Friday Cat, since the class was held at the end of a work week and the lettering would have looked like a giant typo)

So I had just finished re-reading the The Awakening by Kate Chopin, which has a pretty clear theme of domestic and social oppression weaved with self discovery and an “awakening” which eventually leads the heroin to swim out into the ocean and drown herself. This narrative was still obviously fresh in my mind as I was browsing the block images I had to choose from:

(quick disclaimer: I’m probably the last person to be described as the above!)

But I do have to admit, these are legitimate fears that relate to my own life as well. Of course I have the fear of “Sinking instead” of swimming when it comes to leading a successful fulfilled life. And Yes, giving into a default, Midwestern version of happiness that is realized as a stepford wife, is an albeit distant, but real fear.

(second quick disclaimer: not all married Midwestern women are stepford wives, nor are they necessarily “over-domesticated and under-fulfilled”, it’s just something I’m vigorously trying to avoid!)

Below is the colophon and a glimpse of our fffraidy-cat cover:

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