So, over time my penchant for collecting grew. I developed thicker skin, but wisdom increased with each epithelial cluster, until . . . Well, let's just say the more I collected, the more I learned; the less I cared about labels.
I learned to keep my treasures to myself. I kept them close to home. I kept them in my room. It didn't last forever--that peace of mind--people tended to make a bee line to my squared domain. When they came, they saw. When they saw, they whispered. What they saw prompted them . . . strictly out of kindness, and care for my welfare . . . to try to set me straight about collecting oddities. I always listened. Out of respect and kindness for their concern. But remember this: How can an artist be an artist unless she knows the ins and outs of a thing? How can I draw a bird in flight unless I know what makes it fly?
We had intensive human anatomy classes in art school. Then why is the study of a bird's anatomy considered weird? Or a worm's? I soldiered on, silently defiant, yet working under a cloak of secrecy. JC and Erin were the last to fall. The teased and expressed their concerns under the guise of humor, but we know "many a truth is said in jest."
Then came the day the weight lifted just a bit. I stood a little taller. The buzzard's feather was replaced by a gift wrapped in white tissue paper. It was offered with two hands.
I held my breath, never suspecting anything so mythic, so grand, so forgiving as this . . .
See the notch?
It's beautiful, yes?
It's length fills the olive dish.
Accepting with two hands, I held my breath, never suspecting anything so mythic, so grand, so forgiving as this . . .
This, my friends, is a deserving of a case for curiosities, if not a cabinet. Don't you agree? You see, I've never used it either. My sister Elaine gave me this unique gift from Africa. She bought it in the gift shop at the Shrine of the Black Madonna over ten years ago. I cherish it just as I cherished the splendid fountain pen Erin gave me. I preserved it just as I preserved Ceba's fine feather. I preserved it so well, I almost lost it to curious cats. But, today, while watching Oprah sign off, I realized something simple yet powerful: I am worthy. I am worthy of this gift. I am worthy of my curious gene.
So, in that vein, I used my curious quill pen. Finally!
. . . ( to be continued)