Once in a land just around the corner…
There was a girl who did not have the finest things but was endlessly curious about the making of things. She and her family moved many times all through her youth, so making friends was tricky. Her sister and brother were her friends, but she was also responsible for watching over them, and like many chores this became tiresome. She sought the company of the woods, of books, and of songs. She spent many hours making toys and tools, puppets and characters out of the materials she could find around her.
Objects didn’t ask questions or have rules to follow. Pieces of wood and hardware, old radios and fabric didn’t tease like people did. But the materials around her had a language of their own. They had shapes they wanted to be and stories they wanted to tell. If she was very quiet and worked with them, the objects would tell her what they wanted to become.
The girl grew and learned many things, both in school and out. Music and dance, drawing and sculpting, writing and geometry. She loved books and history, the stories of the people behind designs and styles and creations. She learned about costumes and customs and became fascinated with them. She grew to work in costumes, first in one way, then another, always seeking the way that was most creative. So many of these paths led to the making of other people’s stories. She became skilled at this work and desired for these abilities.
And yet something was missing. It was not clear to her what it was, only that it was lacking. She sought for it, trying all the traditional paths she could take, but it was not there to be found. After much work and many trials, it came to her that she no longer wanted to work in the service of other people’s stories. This was frightening and exhilarating. What could she do? What would she be?
And the voices of the forgotten and discarded pieces and objects called out to her from corners and thrift stores and trash heaps. They wanted to be made into something new. The leftover bits from her daily work had songs yet to sing.
She wanted to tell their stories.
Slowly, bit by bit, experimenting and failing and trying again, she found ways to tell those stories. Along the way, she found out she was also telling her own tale.
A. Laura Brody
I re*make mobility devices and materials and give them new lives. Sometimes I staple drape.