My father’s chair

I sit on my father’s chair
Afew minutes to the new year 2016
I sit on my dad’s chair
It’s special because he made it himself
You see my dad was an artist much like me
But where I use words to create my dad used his hands

So I have fond memories of my first doll
It was wooden my dad curved it for me
It did not have fine hair or small pointy nose like my daughters Elsa or Barbie

It was wooden
The face was crude the nose now looking back did not have the fine cut of the victorian beauties that define today’s dolls
It had no silky hairs like the barbies of today

The doll had no gender and i think it’s at that point that my dad unknowingly instilled in me values of tolerance

Looking back
My world was not defined by color
There was no pink for boys or blue for girls (yeah I know … best dress  was blue….color coordination was a luxury my mother could I’ll afford….)

I think my dad had no advanced tools with which to fashion and refine the doll
So my doll had one block for legs and the arms could not extend or rotate
My doll looked like a soldier at attention
But I could see the love
The attention to detail and i would lovingly carry my doll on my back
I am the envy of all the girls in the village
They stand around me as I make breakfast for my baby doll
Water in a tin and mounds of soil mashed together
The girls eyes follow my hands as they slowly put the mash on to the lips of my doll. The girls are rewarded and allowed to hold the doll if they are really nice
I feel like a princess with my subjects….I love my doll

My sister has come home
She puts a square box in my hands
My very first gift box
I open it gingerly and nested in the box is a small fine and delicate doll
This is the most beautiful doll
It has the whitest skin and black boots and green raincoat
Fine black hair so smooth it caresses my fingers
The head is detachable ….wow how exotic….the boots come off easily

I dress and undress my doll
Every morning I hold the doll in my arms
I wash her silken air with water and wash her clothes everyday
The girls are beyond envy
I walk on air I have embraced modernity
I no longer have the need for my wooden doll
I relegate it to the house

But I am warned that this doll is delicate and can have no solids for breakfast
How restrictive! So this morning I prepare to serve my doll a proper breakfast
With my entourage I mix the water and soil and make a fine mix
This is lighter in keeping with the delicate nature of my new doll

Breakfast is served
Small set back though… this doll has no mouth
But that does not deter me
Gingerly as the girls look on in wonder I remove the head and slowly pour the liquid breakfast into my doll and put back the head.

The doll feels heavy and i put her to sleep
An hour later
I check on her
Her beautiful face…..her beautiful body grotesque..  she is shapeless swollen. ..
the patent boots are stuck to her now expanded feet
I am devastated as we plan a send off for my doll
I burry my doll under a banana tree
My friends stand with me….i bid my doll farewell

In my sadness I remembered my wooden doll
I dust it off lovingly
This doll is strong and tenacious
It was lovingly made by my father
Much like this  chair that I am sitting on
Like my doll this chair has outlived many a modern chairs
I sit on it and replay the special moments with my father



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