Meditation on a piece of string

A funny thing happened when I went to use the leather strip I had bought years ago to repair my raccoon fur hat. That hat was six inches  high,  lined with red felt, and had ear flaps with a leather thong that tied under your chin. It was really warm. But its last use by Elizabeth was in the Christmas pageant when she was asked to dress as one of the animals in the manger. She didn’t want to be a sheep or a cow. She wanted to wear the hat.

The fur itself piled high on her eight year old head said to the crowd I am a beast, not human, not vegetable or mineral, but animal, present at his birth.

She walked with the other children, four feet high most of them, down the aisles of church to the altar where the manger was set up.

Years after I wore the hat on sub zero days until the thongs broke. I bought some leather string to fix it but could not successfully anchor the piece in the mounded fur. Now the hat and Elizabeth are gone, and I only have the string.

1 comment:

  1. Of course nobody who has not experienced this loss has any idea what s/he would do, but I feel that being who I am, I would save every piece of string, dot of lint, scrap of paper, or shampoo bottle that might somehow be connected.
    Sending my sincerest hopes for peace to you,


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How Dina Aunty relished her memories. Mummy and Daddy were the same, talking about their yesterdays and smiling in that sad-happy way while selecting each picture, each frame from the past, examining it lovingly before it vanished again in the mist. But nobody ever forgot anything, not really, though sometimes they pretended, when it suited them. Memories were permanent. Sorrowful ones remained sad even with the passing of time, yet happy ones could never be re-created—not with the same joy. Remembering bred its own peculiar sorrow. It seemed so unfair: that time should render both sadness and happiness into a source of pain.

> From A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry