Upon Unwrapping a Handmade Stuffed Camel Toy
How do you gracefully unravel candy cane wrapping tissue, pry it loose from a stuffed camel? It is Christmas, and our glasses are full of cheer on the corner of a bar, and I am wedged in between Karen and her husband. Blessed, with such besties. There has been already chocolate, and chocolate tea, and Merlot, pressed back into a gift bag, pushed down with our boots under the countertop. Now it is this, a hand-knit toy, my favourite animal, the camel. Right here, the crochet dromedary is absurd and beautiful and the best gift I have ever received.
I have built myself into something stronger, I have reached past death and darkness for light and life and I have disposed all those demons that possessed me, but face to face with this bactrian boy, I crumple for a moment into tears. We had emerged, thirty or so moments before, from a candlelit carol service, where I sat dry eyed through two hours of exquisite sonatas celebrating the greatest story ever told. The Magnificat, the Annunciation to the Shepherds, the old man with pop out ears singing his heart out in front of me. Through all this more, I held my composure. Oh, yes, I readily confess it, that for awhile now, I've prided myself on feeling nothing. I have found salvation in negation. But here in my hands is the same love that crocheted a pale blue owl for the daughter of a girl who used to share my mirror. Here is that same nativity story, two millennia after the fact, this toothy, gypsy queen of the desert that carried wiser men and frankincense. The story, knit by Christ and Karen, love manifest without question for a sinner like me.
Lorette C. Luzajic
Lorette C. Luzajic is a Toronto, Canada based writer and mixed media visual artist. Her poetry and stories have appeared widely in journals, blogs, magazines, and online publications, including Taxicab Mag, The Fiddlehead, Rattle, Grain, The White Wall Review, Peacock Journal, and Workman Arts Ledger. Her artwork was exhibited this year in Tunisia, where she made friends with many camels, and in Mexico, too. Lorette is the founding editor of The Ekphrastic Review. www.mixedupmedia.ca
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