Friday, October 9, 2015

The Dirty Ones Visit the Hospital

In Which I Thankgod for My Cathexis

"In psychoanalysis, cathexis is defined as the process of investment of mental or emotional energy in a person, object, or idea."

I am well aware that my Stuffed Needy Animal Rescue Project (SNARP) is a cathexis, a projection of my emotional energy (especially giving and receiving tender mercies) into these inanimate objects.

And that's great!

 I am this morning sitting in a coffee shop in Madison, where I grew up, having come down to see my father who went into the hospital for tests.

Meanwhile, I am grateful I grabbed my sewing bag on the way out of the house, as well as the Dirty Ones which were still a tiny bit damp from their bath.

The very first evening, I made a hospital gown for the Koala > . 

The hospital staff have commented favorably [so cyooot!],
and none has yet asked where the material for its gown came from. [I suppose they figure I cut up a hospital gown, which is correct.]

II. Busman's Holiday

Yesterday morning I took a couple hours off for a Busman's Holiday: 
I went to the St V de P Thrift Store, the same one I used to go to as a child--the ur-shop of my love of Thrift.

There I bought a 70s-ish India print shirt to cut up for the next project: outfitting a piglet I had as a child.

Before and Almost-After photos:

Piglet thinks it looks like Hutch ^.

I'd chosen the Piglet from my father's closet the night before, after he'd told me I could have one ("only one!") of the stuffed animals from our childhood he has stored there, unbeknownst to me.

[I've almost never visited my father's house in the almost-forty years since I left at sixteen.]

I removed the piglet's wool stuffing--this time washing and saving this wonderful material--washed everything, and also stitched new eyes and a nose with embroidery thread to replaced its worn-off felt ones.

I'm glad I am limited to "only one" because otherwise I'd feel overwhelmed: 
there are about forty dirty, mouse-chewed toys in there.

And here's where it's helpful not to get tooooo caught up in the-thing-that-is-cathexisized [? I imagine there's a term for this?]:
I need not feel pity for them.
They are not Beings,
these are things: fibers arranged by humans into recognizable forms.
They do not suffer.


The Crow said...

But if they are loved long enough and hard enough, they become real. Ask the Velveteen Rabbit.

Frex said...

Oh, not to deny their reality, Crow!
I just meant to free myself from feeling burdened by those 39 stuffed animals I have to leave behind in my father's closet (he is a bit of a hoarder and would notice if I took more than my allotted "one only")--
If I think of them as actively "real",
I feel neurotic pangs of guilt that are not helpful to any-body or -thing.

It's better for me to remember they are at this stage merely fiber [even fiber in a state of potentiality].

Zhoen said...

They absorb suffering, it's their job.

ArtSparker said...

I would use the word energy instead of cathexis and's all just energy, joy, anger and lying on the ground overcome in the manner of Mr. Toad of Toad Hall. The universe inside is just too too much sometimes (like the one outside).

I'm working a stitching a fox mask for a friend's 8 year old for Halloween, it has a wire mesh base.

Frex said...

" lying on the ground overcome in the manner of Mr. Toad of Toad Hal"

PERFECT! This is pretty much how I feel right now, the morning of Day 4. Also Im super grateful sister and I drive home this afternoon.