Saturday, July 24, 2010
We Are Still Kids at Heart
Before the confession of childishness, which we prefer to interpret as joie de vivre, two public service announcements:
First, do not forget that Stephanie Mills will be at Dog Ears Books tomorrow, Sunday, from 2 to 4 p.m., signing her newest book, On Gandhi’s Path. This will be a good time to visit with Stephanie in general and have good conversation with her about her lifelong career as an ecology writer and bioregionalist.
Second, who left this cap behind at Thursday’s author event?
Now, some of the toys that grace our lives--.
Poet Al Bona was happy to have prints of a couple pictures I’d taken from his book launch party, but as we were looking them over together I spotted a stray item that shouldn’t have been included. “That shouldn’t be there,” I said hastily, pulling out the stray print. “What’s is it?” Al asked. “Oh, those are just David’s Barbie dolls.” A shocked look: “David has Barbie dolls?” “It’s a long story,” I told him, “for another time.” People were coming through the door for another bookstore event (Oomen and Busch), and there wasn’t time right then to tell how David had found the dolls at a garage sale and how much fun he was having posing them in dioramas on our front porch. Besides, what would I answer if Al asked, “Why?” There is no explaining all the ways the artistic impulse manifests itself. How to explain the rubber frogs and rats on the edge of our bathtub, their dialogue written on the tub in magic marker? Our eight-year-old grandson seemed awestruck by the old folks' bathroom.
For my plastic horses, however, I claim no highbrow justification, aesthetic or intellectual. I saw them (at a different yard sale, a few years back), wanted them and, miracle of miracles, could afford to buy them. As a young girl, I could almost never afford to buy these coveted items—maybe only twice—as the money for each took long weeks of scrimping, allowance and birthday money usually burning a hole in my pocket before I had enough for the purchase price. So why did I buy them as a middle-aged woman? To recapture my youth? Or to capture the youth I couldn’t afford to have when young? I just wanted them, that’s all. And anyway, they look good above the door of the Painted Horse Gallery, though when I climbed up to photograph them the other day I could see that after three years the whole shelf and all the horses could use some work with a dustcloth. I really mean it: “No kind of housekeeper at all.”