when i was a tad-bit of a person. just a pint-sized version of me. i used to walk up green stairs on creaky dusty carpeted floors and watch the soft seconds fall beneath me. i heard the ringing of the grandfather clock. waited for the wooden chick to pop out of his home and then went on with the exploration.
i walked in to say, “hi!” to my great grandma rocking on her old musty chair, black-rimmed glasses, thin, bony, wrinkled and yet so full of love SO in need of it. i felt the wave of loneliness as much as the old carpet beneath my feet.
but i was most anxious to explore the bookcase. the one filled with anything, but books. Japanese teapots, melded metal, grooves and impressions. i traced my fingers over to feel each of them, carrying dust and cobwebs wherever my fingers went. i lingered there. idling my childhood hours away, i held each ever so carefully-the old heavy metal trays, the worn cups, the dusty fake fruit. they were fascinating. they were the magical world hidden in an otherwise lonely too quiet home.
i would take each with great grandma’s curious eyes watching. would i like to eat croutons instead? “you know how much you like those croutons? or how about sweet jellies? i bought you a bag of fruit ones.”
“no, great grandma.” just these. these are the treasures i’d like to play with.
some days would be spent playing in the back room. old pocket doors pulled open a
hideaway room. she bought me a doll with weird eyes that moved up and down when you rocked her and a box of beautiful silky scarves. scarves that were blankets, and skirts and fancy blouses in my imagination. suddenly the silence was filled with footsteps on wooden floors and a tiny girl’s voice filled with excitement and anticipation.
it was my own little world and i created it. a bubble of a world where life was as exciting as i made it. it’s where the desire for inspiration began. a passion for finding the treasures in never touched adult fragiles displayed on bookshelves just short enough for me to reach them.
when i was tired i would say, “thank you great grandma.”
“you don’t want to stay,” she’d say. a statement rather than a question. a sadness rather than a request.
“no, going to go downstairs now.”
“okay,” she’d say.
i closed the door softly to somehow ease the deep wells of loneliness from the quiet that would return. i looked at her through the space between the closing door. black rimmed glasses, rocking on that musty chair. a need for love and a sense of loneliness.
through layers of sadness grew a passion of purpose.
no more old rocking chair. no more dusty dishes. no more great grandma.
but haunting memories of hope, loneliness, and love sit inspiring beauty, truth, expression and this post.
thank you great grandma…