glue, paper, scissors
in the thick of a sunday so cold it made my fingertips burn all day, just from filling the bird feeder (without mittens, silly me).
at the end of a week so bitter and cruel it made my heart burn, just from the tumult of too many things.
in the midst of all that, my telephone rang. it was melissa. she wanted me to come on a cold afternoon to cut paper, pour glue, add glitter.
i did. and somewhere deep in construction, maybe during the part where my thumb and my pointer were hooked in the zig-zaggy scissors, my heart started to thaw. my heart started to twinkle.
we were cutting out whimsy, dabbing on love, making wonder from red and from pink. i think maybe valentine was a saint, only because it gives reason for folly deep in the depths of the winter.
now i am not one to pull out paper therapy at the drop of a hat. but i must confess to a paper obsession. maybe it’s because i put words on them, consider them missile for my missives, the vessel that takes me and my thoughts out into the world, through the mail, from my desk to yours, far away.
maybe because papers set moods. maybe because paper is clasped in your fingers. you hold it. you behold it. it’s not incidental. not always, at least.
playing with paper takes me back to long long ago. i made whole kingdoms from paper. built houses all summer long. played out great paper dramas, this paper doll taking a walk through the forest. that one lying sick in a bed.
it is a smart thing for a grownup in an increasingly paperless world to return to paper. to pull out the scissors, the glue and the stamps.
we gathered, the mamas from the street where i live. the little girls too. we all cut and we chattered. we nibbled, we sipped. we built paper hearts in as many creations as there were souls at the table. to watch women engrossed in making love out of paper is something to soften your heart on a cold winter’s day.
then the little girls, led by an angel among them, started tracing their hands, cutting them out. laid out in a circle, they made a whole wreath of hands, hands poked through with hearts. a circle of love for the little old lady next door. the one who went off in an ambulance in the dark of new year’s night, and hasn’t been home ever since.
i sighed as i saw it. i marveled, i did, at the power of paper on a cold afternoon. cut paper, my friends, snip, snip and snip. there are wonderful curative balms that ooze from the core of the pulp.
this is a beautiful meditation on the meaning of paper. i am looking with new appreciation at the papers on my desk. i just wish they looked as good as your’s. thank you for brightening the beginning of my day.
I love seeing paper as missiles for your missives. Aaah. And now electronic transmission added to your arsenal. Oooh. What’s next?
Yesterday my seven year old daughter and I sat and worked on Valentine cards for her classroom. I remember the good ol’ days when you cut and pasted your own handmade ones … love this story and wish we would have done the same. The store-bought ones just don’t do it for me.Love seeing another muffin recipe on The Lazy Susan. Lately, that page could be subtitled ‘Much Ado About Muffins’ … yummmmm!
I knew I was in a better place–for me anyway–when after fifteen years of pursuing a PhD I abruptly changed gears and found myself teaching preschool, and we were up to our elbows in construction paper and glitter most days. Balm to my soul.These days I make the stuff, and if there’s anything better than paper it’s a big vat of paper pulp, in vibrant or subtler blues or greens or golds, filled with shreds and flecks of other colors and words, sloshing around in a warm bin, to be pulled out on a screen and laid out to dry as a new beautiful paper creation. I’m telling you it’s better than therapy, and a whole lot cheaper too.
I have a friend who is 50, is an IT business owner/primary breadwinner of her busy household of spouse, daughters, dogs, cats, elderly mother. Yet, every February, she spreads her diningroom table with all things red and doily and glitter to make and send personalized Valentine’s greeting limericks to each of her friends. She has such fun doing this and we have such fun receiving them–just as if we were kids. I still have last year’s heart/doily/limerick on my refrigerator because the message is so nice and on-target that it has made me smile all year round.
beautiful bam,we’ll be delivering our hands this friday night, accompanied by chocolate chip banana bread. ❤
oh the sweet power of art making, working with one’s hands, memories of the past surfacing and the collective experience of working in a group…am not surprised one bit that this process melted your heart