A short bus ride from Piccadilly Station in Manchester, up past the colourful curry mile, lies a gem of a museum. It is the Gallery of Costume at Platt Hall.
Housed within is a poignant, unexpected exhibit by Manchester born artist, Susie MacMurray. On first glance it's easy to think you are seeing a beautiful silver evening gown, with shimmering fabric that dances in the light.
There is a sharp intake of breath when you realise that you are in fact looking at a sculpture made up of over one hundred thousand long pins. It's both stunning and startling in equal measure.
My first thought was: 'Crumbs, that looks how I sometimes feel!' It was moving to read then, that this "dress" is actually entitled 'Widow' and it represents Susie's grief on being widowed.
Sometimes we may feel that if we could see our feelings they would look akin to a cactus or something equally as prickly and untouchable. We may feel that the feelings are so angry, sore, difficult and messy we could not even touch our feelings let alone cherish, nurture or embrace them.
Pondering on it though, a cactus, or that "dress" could be touched, or even held, if handled with great care. When it comes to our feelings then, if we can learn to take care of them, treating them gently instead of berating them or speaking kindly to the feelings rather than becoming impatient with how we feel, the feelings may just lose some of their prickliness.
Our "cacti" may even sprout a delicate flower or two.
'Widow' by Susie MacMurray: http://www.susie-macmurray.co.uk/project.php?id=5