Charleston, West Virginia My Life Story On My Own Writings

The Violet Box

Having lost all roots I crave the feeling of security. A taste of home. Home is partially this sense of safety in our minds released by certain colors, smells, sounds and vibrations. Probably ones that remind you of whatever brought you peace in childhood.

For me it is violets, dandelions, buttercups, green grass, clouds and skies. Lace handkerchiefs and tea sets painted with flowers. Stories about bears, knights and frogs setting out on adventures. Candies in glass dishes and cookies with pictures pressed into them.

Safety is walking with my grandmother into a restaurant where we place matching orders for a fish sandwich and glass of chocolate milk. These are brought to us by a waiter in coattails with a sprig of parsley on the side. She gives me little gifts on these outings. A tiny diamond pressed into a golden shell. We discuss scented soaps and bubble baths. Then return to her house to look through her collection of porcelain dogs. She lets me choose one to keep.

Security is sitting on the sofa with my mom as she reads me books. Animals in formal clothing risk everything for friendship. They set off across vast landscapes to chase dreams and fulfill noble ideals. She reads to me in the formal living room where everything is shiny, polish and floral. The piano sits to my left. He listens. Glen the koala bear sits on my lap. The stories go straight to his heart since he is an animal too. I am wearing clothes my mother made me and they are stitched with scenes of animals. The yellow sun is shining through the window.

Security is the heart shaped box painted with violets I kept on my dresser. Everyday I climb a chair to touch its smooth surface and then stroke the cactus who lives next to him. He grows inside a porcelain pot the shape of a cat. I talk to the cactus and fill him with a sense of love and self-worth to face the day ahead. I talk to everything around me to give them strength and encouragement. My animals, my dolls, my knights, my scented soaps. I touch them with my finger while explaining to them how special they are. How important their life is. I do this with plants, worms, and human babies as well. Sometimes it gets exhausting.

The other vibe from childhood was sports. Sports, sports, sports, competitive games & competition. Life was a competitive sport where victory was fleeting and humiliation eternal. I never resonated with this part.

But the female side was all about beauty. All my female relatives loved to decorate and shop for beautiful things. I did too. It filled me with a sense of awe. I spent a week contemplating if I should buy a tiny glass snake. I finally decided I should and took him home to place him on my Cherokee drum so he could dance while I played it. Glass, porcelain, and cotton are soothing to me. When things are clean, prim, old fashioned and expensive I feel safe.

Not that I live this way. But at least in my mind I can return to that porcelain heart box. Then a sense of optimism & power overtakes me. The world cannot change me.

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