Bláithín are you going to tell us your story? How come you never brush your hair? Why do you love the wind so much? Who do you live with and why are you always talking of Nana?. All questions posed before Bláithín an early morning, way too early she said. But then she started, and once she started there was no stopping her.
"I am but a little girl. My Nana calls me her "little flower". I guess that is why my Mother and Father chose to call me Bláithín. Nana says she was already calling me like that before I was born. I live with my Nana, in a tired wooden cottage overlooking the bluffs and the ocean. It is cold and sometimes it is very noisy, when the ocean blows and is angry; but we don't mind, we love the ocean, we love to see it raging because then you see it calm and it is the most beautiful sight ever. Like a kitten purring by your side."
"I spend most of my days gathering lichens and moss, special flowers for Nana, and tending our small rocky garden. I bake, and I dust, and I also read. Long stories, full of enchanted beings, of faeries and elves, and of times long gone by. I read all the time because Nana can't anymore. She is blind, or at least almost blind. Now I take care of her, the same way she took care of me when my parents were no more."
"There was a time when I needed to learn to read, to cook and mend. Nana taught me all those things. She showed me how to thread a needle, how to pause for kind effects when reading long passages, how to nurse a stew and tend little flowers. How to make your home, the only one you got, the coziest nest ever. My Nana taught me all I know. With her tired and trembly hands she guided me, and now is my turn to guide her back."
"Nana and I are not ever lonely. We have books and tea and stories. I have all sorts of adventures, meeting strange creatures, but Nana never refuses me. She knows I am telling the truth, the only truth. She always asks the right questions, and also knows that you can only have real fun in the places that are abandoned by everybody else: the nook of a cave by the ocean, an empty forgotten field. Those are the places that hold the most magic, so Nana lets me play there for as long as I want to, and is always eager to hear all about it when I come home."
"I hope I always have stories to tell my Nana. I hope she is always happy to hear them. Some days I have to talk very loud, but other days I can tell the whole thing in whispers by candle light. Nana is my best friend, and even when I am far in the fields, exploring and tired, full of dirt and moss in my apron, I know Nana is with me. I feel her always so close. I love my Nana."
As you can see this little girl's story is as much about her, as about her Grandmother. Those wonderful and kind human beings who are a generation away from us, just far enough to see things with more priority perhaps; who indulge our sweet tooth, our love for stories, our need to "help" by letting us grab needle and thread when they work on their embroidery. This doll is dedicated to a special Grandma, the one who raised my Mother, being then my Great Grandmother. A smiling old lady who always greeted me with penny candy in the large pockets of her apron, who always smelled of funny soap, who fed so many cats and embroidered and crochet by the mountain fold. My favourite dish from her was porridge (one of the reasons I am always talking about it here, my special corner) and our favourite past time was to braid our hair. She would braid my long, dark and wiry braids, and I would braid her thin, skinny and white braids. After braiding our heads, our second favourite thing was to tell stories. I have always told stories, but I was very scolded and reprimanded for "lying". I saw things in my head, I envisioned worlds, and I never wrote it, I loved to retell it. Oral storytelling was my thing, and was encouraged only by my Grandmothers (all four of them!). My "Abuelita" would tell me stories of when she was little, the things and the way they did things back then. I would tell her stories from my imagination: giants sleeping over, magic doors inside walls, flowers with little people. I think part of why I am still telling stories is because there was someone there back then to listen. I have worked on Bláithín and reminisced about my Grandmother and I know that if she was to see who I became and what I do for a living she would be very proud of me.
To all Grandmothers who nurture the emerging spirit of their grandchildren, who nestle them in their arms, and read them stories and listen to their stories: thank you.
It is said that the memories of our childhood is what carries us through our entire lives. Wether those memories are good or bad, we have enough material to construct a life. A well-lived life. I choose to focus on the good memories of my childhood, and let them seep through my creations. Seeing Bláithín come together and the things she was stirring in me was very enjoyable. I hope she brings this joy to wherever she goes.
Little Bláithín will be available for purchase via auction on my Indie cart store, starting tomorrow Tuesday September 23 at 8 PM EDT (Toronto time) and ending three hours after. I wish those bidding the best of luck bringing this little lady home. You can visit the direct link here (please be advised that you will need an account with indie cart to place a bid):