Sunday, July 10, 2011
The Masked One or When I Was Good
The children sculpted a head of clay and let it dry outside in the sun. They covered it with cling wrap and soaked the plaster bandages till soft. Then they complained that this was too messy and could the mother do this bit ? But the mother gently insisted that they do it themselves, and having heard this tone before, the children wisely gave up on their complaints and plastered the clay head, being especially careful to smoodge it into the crevices around his nose. And when it was dry they painted it gaily in colours approximating a West Indian carnival mask and the mother was proud.
Despite carefully teaching her daughters the art of decluttering, the mother was so proud - mostly of the fact that she actually got her act together to buy the plaster bandages - that she let the mask linger. For years. And when she finally made the decision to toss the mask, whose edges were beginning to crumble and fray, she took a photo to remember it by. Then she took a deep breath and stuffed it into the back of the hall cupboard, because - as she explained to her bemused daughters - she wasn't quite ready to let go of it yet.