The first piece of The Deep Collection
Warp: hand painted Supima cotton
Weft: Hand painted Saltwater Rose tencel
ca. 480 cm plus fringes
Woven with Paradisaea’s signature Sun Twill
Letters To My Children, part 20
(In Case You Are Of The Other Kind)
I’m watching you
which signs will appear.
a sun child
or are you
Starborn you are
in either case -
but I’m watching you to see
which light it is
that you carry in your mind.
You see, some people blaze, they burn, they burst,
like flames of star fire,
fast and piercing
but some people
are of the other kind.
I’m watching you to see
which signs will appear.
are like moonlight;
their silences deep like water under waves
their eyes like reflections of universes on a still sea
endless like the ocean;
and if you are of that kind
I want you to know
you don’t have to be afraid
it's at the bottom
where the pearls are.
- K. V.
“Mom, can boys do all the things that girls can do?"
We were driving home from daycare; his question came with a quiet voice, full of the emotion of a slightly troubled five year old heart. I was surprised, caught unawares.
“Umm - yes…? Pretty much yes”, I said, wondering how much I should go into detail about things like giving birth and breastfeeding -
“why do you ask?"
He was silent for a while, and then started to talk about mermaids.
There was this one book in daycare, he said - a book about mermaids. He had found it one day and hat sat reading it, apparently mesmerised, when one of his playmates, a girl, had pointed out that boys shouldn’t read that book as it’s “for girls”.
He was seriously worried. How could it be that he couldn’t read this book? He was intrigued, fascinated about those merpeople creatures. Why couldn’t he be that?
I was frankly a bit relieved - and promptly told him he could read all the mermaid books he could get his hands on. Any books he loved, actually, whatever the topic. I could hear a stone roll off his chest.
“There are really no boy things or girl things, only different things that different kids like”, I told him. But I did feel the need to point out that there’s this one thing that involves babies coming into the world that generally is easier for women, but he didn’t feel worried about that.
I kept thinking about this conversation of ours the whole day - for a few days, really. I see in our firstborn a sort of an awakening; he is starting to point out things, notice things, react to some things he hasn’t maybe noticed before. One of these things is that he shows a keen sense of beauty. I don’t mean beauty as a cliché, or just as classic aesthetics, but he is starting to share his own thoughts about things that draw him in, fascinate him, are beautiful to him. His encounter with mermaids was one of these moments; there was a fairytale there, a world of wonder he wanted to dive in.
Or then there’s the time when he wouldn’t come out of his room to greet a friend of ours who came over because he was struck with a wholly atypical spell of shyness, and later on whispered to me that “Riikka is so… beautiful” and yeah this friend has a really unique presence. I’m also thinking of how pretty much each day he’ll go check how many new flowers my dear Schlumbergera has opened during the night. Or he’ll sit quietly next to me when I read kids' poems to him, and when we play Adele’s Water Under The Bridge in the car he suddenly falls silent and demands I add the song to his own playlist because “those sounds make him feel so much”.
He is opening up to beauty, in many forms. He loves it.
And it puzzles him.
But he loves it.
Now, it’s not that I’d think he is especially unique of different in this. I think kids in general have a keener sense of beauty than many grown ups - they seem to still feel and sense things as they are, and their hearts know how to let beauty in. They don’t have so many layers to peel off from their mind… they still simply breath this world in.
But - what I pray for him is that he could keep his heart free from those numbing layers. That he would just go on loving the things he loves. That he wouldn’t buy the “boys don’t do that” or “girls can’t do that” stuff or the general “you shouldn’t do that" - that he would just be himself. Wonderfully unique, beautifully different - because in a way or another each child will be different. I hope they will, at least - that they wouldn’t be echoes but voices, not reflections but the light themselves. That they could be the beautiful, stunning combination of light and love they each are.
This firstborn of ours is often a Sun child - a loud, carefree, even foolhardy ball of blazing fire. But sometimes the Moon kid inside of him peeks out, and we get to see a glimpse of the depths of his oceans. They’re wonderful.
I wish they’ll never dry out.
This is “Moon Child”, the first of The Deep wraps. There’s a poem that’s dedicated to it - a poem that speaks of the deep dwellers, the creatures of the blue waters, the ones whose beauty is similar to the moon.