I made these birds for two of my friends. We meet regularly for lunch. Some years one will give a present, other years the other might give a small chocolate. I decided that a handmade felt bird was a small token that takes little space in the house (and can be given to someone else without my knowledge, as I cannot visit either of them, they have cats), and yet showed some effort had been made.
So I was shocked by my response yesterday when one friend told me she had accidently tossed the bird, with a pile of old tissues, into a rubbish bin in a busy city street. I was appalled. She had cared so little for this bird that had been given to her in a special envelope; she had just mushed it into her bag with a bunch of horrible grotty old tissues. She had not treasured it at all. I really did not like the thought of the bird going into a rubbish truck, and then the tip. If she didn’t like it, I thought she could have given it to her mother, or just put it somewhere it could be found by someone who would like it.
I felt silly a moment later. My attachment to the felt bird seemed ridiculous; it is not alive.
I keep telling myself that once something is given it is no longer mine at all, that I have no right to dictate the future of that object. I get annoyed with the family stuff that is dumped on me, to keep as museum items, and I am not the only person in the world working with that resentment and learning to toss the stuff anyway.
Why did she tell me? Does she want me to make her another bird? Or does she want to never receive such a bird again?
I am still working on those seven felt pigeons, a little bit every now and then. There has been no progress with the crochet kitten. Tomorrow is the last day of school, so I have been busy. I’ll see how I feel about the bird and the possiblity of replacement early next year.