Lesson One - Ann-Marie L.

     I am having a week that feels like a game of Jenga; luckily, the whole thing hasn’t tumbled down just yet!  I began my writing on a favorite garment in bed with a flashlight, notebook and my tablet.  (My husband gets up at 4:00am)  At first I thought this was ridiculous, me barely getting time to sit properly and then realized it was special and added to the joy I already felt just having read the poems and assignment in lesson one.

     The first non-garment thought was about a stuffed animal I  named PD for Police Department.  He was given to me by a policeman who helped save my life when I had a serious accident at 6 years old.  PD is an old stuffed animal, not an animal at all but an “it”.  He is before the time of super realistic stuffed animals.  He is a 2’ stuffed rectangle with green, purple and a blue checked pattern, with flat glued on eyes, 3D nose, tongue and weird three toed orange feet.  (I repaired those feet many times, more like Franken-feet now).  I loved to caress his fur and he lives in a box in my attic and is 47 years old.  This led to thoughts about my accident and I remembered laying on an operating table having my favorite cotton short shirt (I don’t know the name but your belly shows) cut off my body with scissors.  But, I love this shirt…drifting off to unconsciousness.

     Then, I remembered my true favorite!  My first communion dress!  It was a short, straight lace dress with pleated sheer sleeves.  When I lifted my arms, it was like a white peacock displaying its feathers.  I felt amazing, maybe beautiful, and magnificent.  This dress was beyond anything I possessed.  My mom made dresses for me sometimes which often seemed too stiff. (Maybe there was a discount on curtain fabric ) I can recall standing among the sea of little girls in white dresses, occasionally seeing someone I knew from school and slowly lifting my arms part way to show off my wings.  I was a small skinny kid with bruised shins and cropped blond hair wearing a magical white flying angel dress!  This dress made me feel powerful and special, maybe more like a super hero than beauty queen.  My mom let me wear it to school once after I begged, but eventually it disappeared, she disliked all vanity and even some make-believe.  I think my journey here is to discover and reclaim the power my seven year old self felt as she wore that garment: a garment that seemed to say, “this is who you were born to be”.

Words I am thinking of: surrender, reconciliation and transformation.