Saturday, August 18, 2007

Lessons from Grandmother Joey

Growing up, I had the benefit of a multiply “blended” family. The chief benefit of this arrangement for those of us with extraordinary ego strength which, thanks to my mother and many others, I posses, is the exposure to many magical people who you can embrace as “yours.”

One such person was my grandmother Joey (pronounced, a lá her second husband, “Joy”), the mother of the man who adopted me and therefore became both legally and truly my dad. My grandmother Joey was a magical, amazing, light, positive being. She was a student of spirituality and mysticism, and an aficionado of all people without any regard for status or condition. She once took in a wayward young man who had come to Sedona and seemed to need a quiet space for a time; as it turned out, this “nice young man” was a nice young man known popularly as Yanni. My grandmother Joey took tremendous delight in wine-and-cheese picnics, loved hiking the red rocks of Oak Creek Canyon, prepared and ate the most horrifying macrobiotic foods, and believed in the existence of fairies, placing treats outside for them alongside the offerings left for quail, squirrels, cardinals and chipmunks.

One of my grandmother Joey’s special talents was taming the wild thing that was me as a talkative, rambunctious, obnoxious child. She had a mesmerizing way of rubbing my back that could stop me dead in my tracks, and hold me still and quiet for as long as the moment would last.

Whatever it was that she did in those magical moments, some of it must have stuck. Absent-mindedly, almost the same way she seemed to do it, I found myself stroking Azure this evening. As I tuned into the moment, I realized that the savage beast had been quieted and Azure stood motionless, my fingertips rubbing back and forth across her back in the same way my grandmother Joey had done for me all those years ago.

And then, just as it happened for me as a wild child, the trance was broken, and Azure was off again like a shot, reading Mercy the riot act, seeking the relinquishment of a much-desired cow hoof, attempting to jump in K’s lap as she sat on the toilet, and bouncing in and out of the rocking recliners in the living room.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love magic moments.

BTW, the "flat-gator" in the picture - a recent victim of the incredible talents of Azure I presume - is from FAT CAT Productions if I am not mistaken. They have a reputation for "tough" toys. I imagine it was a short win and virtual blood bath once Azure put her mind to it. Poor dear, she just can't find a toy worthy of her talents.
Much love Misfits - EV