Have you read the book, The Secret? I did in my 20's, and still refer to it every now and again, especially if my life is feeling lop-sided. For example, if my job is going really well, but I need a few relationship tidbits, I take another peek.
The book's author, Rhonda Byrne, recommends readers think of needs wanting to be filled, and encourages them to practice manifesting these desires using the principles of her book, based on the law of attraction. So, as I lounged in the backyard of my parents' home one summer, between soaks in the hot tub, I thought to myself: What do I need?
Immediately, it hit me: what I needed was that jester toy from my childhood! I remember carrying the thing with me everywhere I went (between the ages of about three to five), and I had not seen this jester for over twenty years.
You may be curious as to why an adult woman would want a jester toy as her initial desire from the universe, and I cannot explain this in any sort of eloquent fashion whatsoever. However, I did know that deep down, the memories of that jester were vivid. I remember how the jester felt as I grasped it with my hands. I remember how it sat perfectly, no matter where I propped it. I was intrigued by how it was unlike any other toy. I especially remember that one day I had it, and the next day I did not.
Illusions of tomorrow evoke feelings of qualm
as I lay my head on the fluff of the bed.
In the blink of an eye,
again, I'll wonder if I have enough time...
to imagine, speak, delight, and do,
plan the escape by mid-afternoon;
draft a conclusion, alter the plot,
deliver the news with a cherry on top.
Rave of successes, inventions and more,
whisper sweet nothings not spoken before;
ignore all the upsets, learn as I go,
then re-teach the lessons, so even the lessons would know
...with a soft squeeze of evening's cushion I finish sifting,
tipping my head as a voiceless pause brushes the edge of my lip,
lifting it skyward. Confidently
I am reminded that whenever I wake,
I will draw my pen, prepared to sketch.
First, I turned the house upside down to see if I had simply missed the jester last time I looked. No luck, but I had to try one last time. Next, I spoke to my mom about the toy, asking if she knew who gifted it to me, and where they purchased it from. It was not purchased, she said. It was handmade.
This was before Pinterest and Etsy, but I still took to the computer, searching "1980's handmade jester toy." What I found was a sewing pattern on eBay that matched my jester (and several other similar clown toys), so I bought it for about ten dollars.
Beyond minor clothing repairs, I didn't know how to sew, so I asked my grandmother—the pro—for help. Unfortunately, her arthritis would keep her from this sewing project.
I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics anyway, gathering all necessary materials to bring my jester to life, hoping I'd figure something out. As I bought each item, I realized why I liked handling the toy so much as a kid. Its arms were made of old school wooden clothespins; it's body was a wood block (hence the reason it always sat up straight). Mini bells were on the jester's hat, making just enough noise to be pleasant without sounding annoying. I was even able to find the exact shade of fabric for the jester, only this time I bought blue polka dots instead of stripes.
As Grandma sifted through the bag of bought stuff with me, she mentioned the name of a woman at a local bank that she knew, who also sewed. I left her with the bag to give to her friend the next time she visited the bank. From there, I went back to dorm life in college and practically forgot about the project. That is, until one day I returned to visit home again, and my grandmother handed me the bag used to store my supplies, which had now been made whole.
There it was: the jester, in all of its glory.
An added delight was the woman who helped create my jester also happened to have one of the other '80's clowns at home, so she gifted it to me.
You can't get back your childhood. However, let the jester remind us of a couple lessons: 1) Check in with your 5 year-old self once in a while and give it a big smile; let it know you're still here. 2) You can pretty much have whatever you want, with the right effort, support and supplies.
Oh, and what does the clown teach us? Sometimes things work out best when we're busy having fun.
This time, the featured artist is you. Every waking moment is an opportunity to draw your pen and sketch your beautiful life.
~ xo, Caroline