Once upon a time, in a rather mundane land, lived a rather ordinary girl.
As these things go, the girl had, of course, managed to acquire tickets to a fabulous ball. The girl and her friends plotted and planned for months on end, on dresses and jewelry, shoes, and accoutrements.
And at the heart of the girl’s outfit was a lovely fox stole. Faux, of course.
Toward the end of summer, near the time she had set aside for her dress-making, the girl’s mother fell ill. And all efforts were put towards getting her well. With not much else to do, and a desperate need to keep nervous hands busy, the girl began construction of the stole at her mother’s bedside.
So there the girl sat, diligently knitting away. On the days that her mother was lucid and in good spirits, she would ask to see the work. Much pleased by her child’s progress, she even brought it to the healers’ attention on occasion.
Time passed. There were many hopeful days. Some laughs, a few tears. Frustrations, amusements, angst, and always, love.
And then things went wrong. The scales tipped, and all the efforts were for naught. Two nights earlier the girl had finished weaving in the ends on the stole. Two nights earlier her mother had requested to see it, and smiled. On that last day, knowing the girl would not leave her mother’s side, a friend procured needed components for finishing touches on the stole. But the girl did not finish. Her hands were too shaky, her emotions too frayed.
And her mother died. And nothing was ever the same.
In the weeks to follow, the girl thought about the stole often. It bothered her that it wasn’t finished. But she could not bring herself to care enough to see the project through. Numerous times she decided ‘today is the day I will complete the fox’. Many todays followed, but none were today.
Finally, almost exactly a year later, the girl dragged the pieces out. And amidst many unexpected tears, she made it whole.
And when it was done…the girl did not love it. She wanted to. She remembered her initial excitement, and her mother’s pride, and she wanted to be happy with her poor fox. But she was not. Friends and family alike told her she should gift or sell it. If she could not care for it, wear it and love it, why not give it to someone who could?
But you see, the girl was more sage than maiden, more witch than princess. And she understood, too well, the perils of intent and intention; of what you could put into something, and what it would naturally absorb. That the objects that you create hold resonance. Of mood, state of mind, and of the energy of the place in which they were formed.
The girl knew that you cannot ask someone else to lie in your bed of grief, nor to cloak themselves in a blanket of your sorrow and call it comfort. That weeks of fear and tedium, of love and grief and death, are not something to be gifted.