Friday, March 12, 2010

This Stone is a Woman

February 14, 1987

This stone is a woman. I can see her delicate features her chin and nose, perfectly shaped head, long neck, wonderfully curved breasts. She has been formed of the earth and water, yet remains, rising above the massive weight of the past and into the unknown future. She has the past to turn to for help when she needs it. Her life was built upon the lives of others before her. They imparted in her the gift of life, of hope and love. She is alone yet there is no fear. She is ready to face the vast emptiness of the future before her. She has grown of this mass. She struggles to be free of it yet she never will. The past is always there, someday she will turn and face it.

February 16, 1987

How do I feel today...

I feel like a skeleton in death thralls. Contorted red pelvic area, where life began, must be where life would end last. Pelvic bones, skeletons, smaller bones for male, larger, wider for women, make room for the babies.

Chris (not Cris - this is a classmate I am speaking about) stole my Mr. Buffalo. He's bugging me, sitting against the wall - not writing - making me laugh. Doing Mr. Buffalo tricks reminding me of playing pigs: snouter, oinker...

General comments fly, "She's Hawaiian."
I say, "Who cares?"
Phebe Hanson says, "All Hawaiians are Americans."
Jimmy says, "She's a Communist."
I say, "She's Catholic."
Jimmy says, "She's an Existentialist."

Who Bloody Cares? Labels, Labels, Why all the Distinctions?

I have, all my life, carried around small trinkets, usually animals. Now-a-days, I have cats. I have real cats - four of them: Nivek, Gaz and Gir, and Sammie - but I don't carry them around - I have stuffed cats to carry around and squeeze. I take "Mrs. Norris" to the hospital with me. My husband, Anthony, will bring him to me unbidden with my toothbrush because he loves me. He knows I love my cats. Mrs. Norris is a weird gray cat that looks like a little old man. I talk to him when I am alone in the room - give him "airplane" rides on my feet. Nurses give me an odd look if they walk in on me playing. It never occurred to me before my diagnosis that this was uncommon behavior. I thought everyone played when they were alone.

I lived with Eeyore in my early childhood. My grandmother had sewn him for me out of a pale yellow lingerie fabric. I loved that donkey. His tail was held on by a button. By the time I was five years old, my mother had grown tired of sewing the button back on. She taught me how to thread the needle. She taught me how to tie a knot. She taught me to catch the knot in the fabric before I began. She taught me how to catch the fabric and move the needle through the button holes, back into the fabric, around, around. She taught me to tie off the thread. I sat in my little rocking chair and sewed. I sewed that button back on, sometimes more than once a day, sometimes even more than that! I attribute my sewing skills to that little donkey. 

Soon Eeyore was so filthy that my mother could stand him no longer. She took it away, maybe I was asleep, maybe at school. I think I was six or seven. I went into a deep mourning period. I was filled with such a deep sadness it was paralyzing. I remember singing a sad song with many verses about a pony. The chorus went like this...
My pony is lost to me, to me.
My pony is lost to me. 
He ran away one day, one day.
My pony is lost to me.
I think my parents realized I was not going to give up looking for my donkey. Where could he possibly be? Then suddenly, I found him! The "Easter Bunny" had left Eeyore under the cover for the typewriter. I was reunited and happy again, until Eeyore disappeared again in the same way a couple of months later. I was once again plunged into despair. I looked and looked for him. He must be hidden somewhere. I had found him once before...

When I was 10, my mother asked grandma for the pattern. Even though years had passed, I had continued to ask where Eeyore was on a regular basis. It must have driven her crazy. She sewed me a new Eeyore. He had gray fur and a black mane and hair on his tail. He had beautiful sad eyes. I danced with him in circles, in the backyard. I held him by his front legs and sang him a song. A song of rejoicing, of wonder, of joy at his rebirth.
Eeyore, Reborn!


  1. I can still hear your song in my head...such a sad, soft melody.

  2. One of those little reasons I probably still have my childhood tiger... (as well as Aja/Harrison's and my own baby blanket.) But that tiger man, I've never seen a stuffed animal with so many stitches and scars. But I love him. And I am very comforted by the knowledge of his presence in my adult closet.