Thursday, June 22, 2006

connecting dots

my very first memory is of me, around 15 months old, sitting on a brown, tan and orange woven rug in stuttgart, germany. suddenly, my pregnant mother scoops me up and takes me to the door. outside it is snowing. we live on a steep hill. as we peer out of the open doorway, snowflakes floating down softly, my mom says over and over, "she's an angel! she's such an angel!!" there is a thin stooped old woman, grey hair pulled back in a neat bun, wearing brown square heeled lace up shoes coming slowly up the hill carrying something wrapped in brown paper.

my mom places me in a playpen and i watch the commotion as she scurries in and out of the kitchen, serving tea as they sit at the end of the dining room table. she opens the package shrieking and laughing in delight. it is a coo coo clock.

for the longest time, this image of the older woman bearing gifts was my image of an angel. ("she's an angel! she's such an angel!!"). sometime in my 20's, i started praying to specific "spirit guides" beyond the holy trinity, embracing other spiritual traditions' icons and making up some of my own. somewhere along the way, i started calling my first memory angel, "grandma coo coo", the wisest funniest angel of them all.

in my late 20's, i meet my partner in work and life. i also meet his grandmother. her name is lois coogle and she loves coo coo clocks. later i find out that the young grandkids can't pronounce "coogle" so they just call her grandma coo coo. 2 weeks ago, she moved on to the next life at 90 yrs old. she got her master's degree in statistical mathematics. (unheard of for women at that time.) but she spent her life as an artist, a painter. everyone said that she didn't like to cook or clean but painted everything in sight. her kids joked that if you stood still near her too long you'd get painted too. and that she might forget the sandwich in their school lunch but she'd always remember to paint a picture on the outside of the paper sac or paint "i love you" on a card placed inside.

the metal scrap angel pictured is in honor of lois, constructed from a broken piece of garden art from her yard in georgia and a metal piece found at a beach front gravel mine on vashon island. the thinking cap / halo is part of a bottle with a cap that says "choice is good".

may we all remember that aspect of ourselves, the wise funny parts, the prophetically silly parts and the brilliant delightful parts!!

happy solstice
shine on!

p.s. the other angel can actually fly. you put a finger in his mouth (hand facing outward from your body), grab his little feet with the other hand, pull back and release. (parts gathered from a parking lot and a retirement party! thanks cynthia!)


Post a Comment

<< Home