Sitting on my dresser are two dolls : Sally Walker and Bridsell. These are from my childhood, lost someplace, packed away and my sister found them. She located a doll doctor who could replace the hair on the bald bride doll and give her a new dress (only the second one for Bridsell.) Sally Walker also got new hair. The mold is gone from her eye, and now when I move her legs, she turns her head. Susan surprised me with them at Christmas. Yes, I cried.
It took Susan to see these dolls and realize that despite the horrible state of their being, they could be resurrected. They could be transformed and still bring joy and memories into my life. Months later, as I saw them perched on stands in my bedroom, it struck me: people are just like these dolls. They can be beaten, downtrodden, discouraged, and forgotten. Events might have tapped out whatever was left of their energy. And yet—it is love— that can mend WHAT IS into WHAT CAN BE. It’s an internal and external task. It takes self and it takes others. I hope you like my poem:
The People Menders
Somewhere beneath bald spot and hand caked with dirt
A little boy lived, afraid and quite hurt
And under the tweed with patch on the arm
Once lurked boyish laughter and urchin street charm
Away from the perfume and dress with a frill
Stalked dreams and the music of a shy tiny girl
The leather briefcase with engraved name plate
Hid the pain of teen years with no one to date
And seated so straight in the CEO chair
In school they said “stupid”; he remembered and dared
And high on a stage, performing for all loomed a past of rejection she felt in school halls
We carry inside the pains of our past
We walk today shadowed by memories held fast
To think ourselves new and rise to new heights
We embrace what once was and let go of the night
More quickly it comes if our hands will extend
To celebrate others who also must mend
There are menders for dolls and pastors for souls
But where is the healer who can make people whole?
For the body and mind and the spirit within
Are the substance of life and the world we live in.
What would it take to heal, patch and sew
To soothe and calm, add balm to the soul?
Perhaps mending selves is done in two parts
We mend self and others when we open our hearts.