Sunday, February 24, 2008

Becoming Real

Last night my head was sooo itchy, I thought I was going to scratch it off! Dave broke out the shaving cream and delicately drew the razor in clean lines over my scalp. In my mind I thought, “Oh, this is what the Skin horse meant”.

I had in fact just had my hair loved off.

The Velveteen Rabbit…

The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive.

But the Skin Horse only smiled.


Reesh said...

God you're beautiful! What an amazing journey you are on, and what an amazing perspective you have on it all. Thanks for sharing as I think about you guys often. Call when you need...

Julie-Lynn said...

Hmm... Children's books can be so insightful sometimes. I've never read 'The Velveteen Rabbit', though. Maybe I should.

I went to the library and the bookstore and library looking for the Louise Hay book you mentioned. It is checked out of the library and out of stock at Indigo. So I was thinking I will get dad to keep checking the library, once he returns.

Anyways, I love reading your posts. It sometimes amazes me how you can remain so positive and resilient.

Keep it up :)

lisalou said...

I wanna love you up! And Coady and Dave too...just to be fair.