October 23, 2011

mostly i just stroll along the path that [time] is taking

"When I finally give up the ghost, as long as I've left behind enough songs for people to listen to, I think that'll be enough." —Bert Jansch

RIP, Bert Jansch, a humble man and amazing musician. You are missed.

October 22, 2011

you can't take it with you


Here lies Petunia, faithful doll and snuggling companion. She was like a second pillow to me from first grade on up through college...way longer than I'd care to admit, occupying the coveted role of Most Preferred Stuffed Animal (sorry, Glo Worm; I lied to you, Cabbage Patch Kids), even accompanying me on sleepovers and long car trips.

Unfortunately, preferential treatment has its drawbacks. In my teen years she was routinely kidnapped by guy friends and cousins, the subject of endless pranks and torture. Once she saw her life flash before her eyes while being dangled out the window of a Dodge minivan moving at 50 mph down the Blue Ridge Highway. Other times she was grabbed and twisted mercilessly into a breadstick-like coil (though Petunia always bounced back!). She lived out the last five years or so in the back of a closet, in a Rubbermaid bin full of spare sheets and pillow cases, the doll equivalent of a nursing home. She was stowed away because her owner grew up in a society that fickly gravitates toward youthfulness and beauty, she was far too ugly and tattered and stained to be shown in public fragile.

I sewed Petunia into existence, with my grandma's help, when I was seven. Truthfully, I always found her a bit two-dimensional and odd-looking, with her thick bangs and prim lips and garish bow, the goose (not pictured) she inexplicably clutched to her breast... But she was loyal and dutifully pillow-like. My security blanket in doll form.

Petunia Gladiola Pearson passed away in late September 2011. I moved from one apartment to another and, in the process, had to pack up her Rubbermaid home. The move seemed to take a toll on her. Her body appeared more fragile than ever—her stuffing thinned, her stitches coming apart. To the end, she clutched her little goose, and in her trash bag tomb of broken picture frames and shredded bank statements, I think I heard her whisper "Sleep well..."