Hearts

My father-in-law passed away a few hours after midnight. He lived well. He was tired and ready. I am glad for him.

Our lives are so linear. We take on roles and play our parts in the scenarios of our time, all the while much aware that the characters will change, leave and die, yet somehow thrown off course when this happens, as if it had not been written in the story already.

I don’t know why I think about this now more than before. I’ve had plenty of occasions. Many people have left my storyline unexpectedly, some by their own hand, some murdered and others by more natural means, yet it seems only now that I realize how it all vanishes in the blink of an eye, as if we were missing the point, somehow. I have no words, really. I am neither sad nor frightened. Simply trying to grasp something that cannot be grasped.

I sometimes imagine looking down on the earth with a giant magnifying glass, in fast forward, seeing families form, grow, struggle, fight, celebrate, mourn, work, achieve, fail, shop, go to school, to ball games, to holiday dinners, touching each other in so many ways, making world history with every action, however small, and then… one by one… just gone.

Somehow, somewhere along the way, we miss the point. The thing is, we have no idea what “the point” is, except that we become a memory, and without others even that is not possible. That is the point then: others.

Valentines’ Day approaches and making this a celebration of passion and love is not the point. It is about friendship. There is no love without friendship as a foundation. And without friendship, perhaps there are no true memories either.

Years ago, I felt discomfort when someone asked me to make items that were specific to a holiday, like Valentines’ Day for example. I even declined. I did not get it. I was blinded by a self-imposed ideal whereby I should not make “commercial” items. Perhaps when we’re blinded by what we think love is supposed to mean, or to be, we also cannot see the friendship that is the starting point and the real flame to entertain.

Now I see Valentines’ Day as an opportunity to acknowledge friends, whether they be lovers, parents, neighbors, children, teachers, mentors or even pets. And these things I make are simply meant as a gift to say, “You are not forgotten. Thank you for sharing this moment in my life.”

Slàinte!

Gift pouches and dolls available at Ornament Studio, Jeffersonville, VT.

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