In Celtic spirituality, a thin place is where the proverbial veil between heaven and earth is a little thinner, and so it is an easier place to access the Divine. I like to think that doing awkward things like wearing a head covering for 10 days helps to put me in a thin place, or at least a thin head space. Though I find myself often wondering if I’ve done something completely inappropriate and culturally insensitive, this project has nevertheless forced me to meditate upon many things I normally wouldn’t take the time to do.
What is the role of modesty in spirituality, and in being taken seriously in the world, versus the role of modesty in making women feel ashamed of themselves? There is something about the virtue of modesty that seems to suggest that the physicality of a woman is evil or disgusting or inherently sinful.
There is something bizarrely empowering about wearing a headscarf though. While growing up, it felt like Focus-on-the-Family-approved modesty meant dressing exactly 28% frumpier than our secular counterparts (hooray for tankinis!), this takes it from an obligation to a choice. Now I’m defying social norms to dress more modestly as opposed to trying to dress normally with a prudish twist.
I’m a little behind in the experiment because I’ve been ill the past couple of days but hopefully I can catch up this weekend.
Also, fun news! I’m going to be having dinner with a Muslim woman who chooses to wear a hijab in a few days!