Sunday, September 16, 2007

Head of a pin

I had a notably godless childhood. Or maybe a God-less one, because although there was barely a frankincense-scented whiff of religion, there were plenty of gods around. My mother's world -- and the top of her dresser -- was a metauniversal jamboree of bhagavats, emblems, archetypes, goddesses and totem animals. Candles and flowers and tiny resin-cast foxes at the feet of a little brass Shiva. A foot-long reclining Buddha loomed over a plastic figurine of the Evil Queen in Snow White. No, really.

And her guardian angel, of course. Bringer of parking spaces and protector against ills we know not of. She didn't live with the others, but all by herself on the bedside table. A tiny conical wooden shape for angel raiment, blue, daintily painted with flowers, with a teeny-tiny wooden head and teeny filagree brass wings and the teeniest-tiniest expression of beatitude ever managed by a 000 brush. Even to my five-year-old hands she was light as a feather and smelled like the drawer my grandfather's handkerchiefs lived in. She had been sitting on mum's bedside table, wherever she went, since long before I was born. I think she was from Mexico.

The angel in the picture, though, is mine. Mum made her for me out of Fimo and two little gold-effect fans and some foil moons and a tiny gold shell for her halo. Mum's thumbprint is on her left sleeve.

She stands next to my pencil-cup and my memo-block with the silver X paperweight on it and my Penguin of Death mug, which holds a Great Bustard feather and a crackly, fractured bit of honesty and a magpie feather and an otherworldly, snow-white puff of goshawk down.

Another little talisman clambake, on the other side of the world.


Krista said...

My Sainted Dead Grandma used to grow honesty all along the path to her back door.... In the American South it's called silver dollars, though, and you dry it and keep it for money luck. She always had some in a vase around the house. I'm not sure how well the luck worked, but my surviving grandpa has been comfortably installed in an assisted living facility for years now.

Heidi the Hick said...

I grew up with lots of God and Jesus and absolutely no saints whatsoever. No bloodless torture scenes on the church walls. No maternal virgins. I never missed them. Just pale blue walls and one plain cross on the wall.

I collect pictures of Jesus because I think it's kind of cute how white and aqualine-nosed they all are.

But talismans??? Let's see...a model of a 34 Ford hot rod, a plastic chestnut horse, a b+w postcard of Johnny Depp playing a National, Captainjacksouthparksparrow, a bunch of things I made in my pottery phase, and a dried sunflower head. They all mean something. They don't really do anything other than provide me with muse! and I refuse to call it clutter.

I do love your little angel. The idea of the thumbprint is my favourite.