The Baby Love
The Start of Spring 2022
In late December 2015, after Bridget had parted from my earthly life in August 2015, I was given the name of a felt-artist by a northern Frenchwoman; she wished to help me to deal with this unexpected loss.
This Française, the daughter of a writer, had been assisting me with the beginnings of translating THE DAWN into L’AUBE. She knew how easily one’s personal life could affect literary output, for better and for worse. This felt-artist had just opened an online shop. I could be of some use to her, monetarily; and she could be of some use to me, emotionally. That exchange sounded like a sound commercial transaction.
I’d theretofore not known much about this type of tangible art. Initially, I balked at the idea of memorializing The Baby Love in felt.
Excuses, a voice whispered to me. Pathetic excuses.
The summer of 2015 was one of those unforgettable summers of my life wherein intensity of emotion combined with analytical awareness to confront a horrifying truth: my Bridget was very rapidly losing her health.
She’d fallen apart physically within a matter of months, five, or perhaps six. My Dear Daughter had returned to our home in Newcastle, California for a quick visit during mid-August, taking a well-needed break from her hectic and rapidly-paced master’s program at a little ivy league college in Boston. I’m not sure she got the break she needed, or even deserved.
She’d expected her mom to be her usual calm, happy, industrious, unflappably productive self. But, no, I was tensely withdrawn and acutely sensitive, then unexpectedly flippant. My precisely calibrated ambivert personality was acting a bit off, not quite getting the space right, in terms of outward emotion and inner sensitivity.
My somewhat fractious behavior was inexplicable to this young young adult child of mine, although I instinctively understood the underpinnings of my mercurial disposition during the late summer of 2015.
In late August, Dear Husband flew back to Boston with Dear Daughter for nearly a week, while I took care of the home front. And during that space of time, four days, to be exact, I wrote the poetry for Moon Glow. I was trying to say goodbye to this beloved beagle who would pass away just after Dear Husband returned to the house on Peach Lane.
I can honestly say that, by late August 2015, I’d not fully gotten over the loss of Bootsie in February 2011. This parting from Bridget finalized that parting of the noble hound who had been her hero, in oh so many ways. It’s a mystery, one to be granted ultimate respect by the human, how a treasured pet can fulfill a mission in one’s life, and then, the human must be strong enough, must love the animal enough, to relinquish her soul to her Maker.
It was with a sense of sorrowful duty that, in mid-February 2016, I requested a custom figurine to be created by Yana in Ukraine. My hope was to receive a good enough likeness of my beloved beagle Bridget, whom I’d quickly dubbed The Baby Love after she came into my life.
Perhaps the emotionally trying task of sending photos of my 13-inch beagle through the ether-sphere moved me past yet another set of teardrops. Perhaps the need to describe, in writing, the personality of my sweet little beagle moved me past many more teardrops. Perhaps the truest solace was imparted to me because I handed to someone else, an artist in an unusual tactile medium, the creative duty of transforming some of my precious memories into the vraisemblance of reality.
I really do not know the miracles of healing that are performed during the creation of beauty; I don’t want to know. The Supreme Artist is always at work while we humans can speak only of muses and inspiration and cathartic splendour.
When the art-object was shipped to me in late February 2016, Yana worried and worried and worried about its safe and timely journey to California. The terrorist attacks in Europe (which haven’t stopped; the news-reportage of them has) during 2015, and into the year 2016, were causing vexing delays in shipping parcels from that region to America. This package was indeed very late in arriving to my house in Newcastle, California. I’d had to repeatedly assure this woman that I would not hold her accountable for the snafus in International Mail.
Somehow, I convinced her that there’s a superior power sending this package to me, on the wings of love. The spirit of Bridget was accompanying that cherished cargo.
When the felt figure did arrive, in early April 2016, I immediately opened it, and then I promptly contacted Yana. She might have wept at the news. I shed only a tear or two at the sight of this beautiful work of felt art. I was too overwhelmed, by joy and amazement, in seeing and touching this extraordinary rendering of the Baby Love into a keepsake of wonderment and charm.
It was an honour for me to post this stellar review for her creation on her shop website:
This felted figurine was requested of Yana in the hope that she would create a likeness of my beloved beagle Bridget who had to leave us last summer. Her creation exceeded any expectation. The felt beagle is indescribably beautiful -- so sweet. Everything about her work is delicate and touching. The little felt dog arrived in a precious round box with a lovely soft collar and “nest."
As for the work itself, Yana captured the essence of Bridget: the determined but sensitive look in her eyes; the sweet neediness; the pink belly; the dreamy gaze of love; and the tail to a T! I would give this artist and her shop 10 stars if I could.
The felt figurine of Bridget proved to be such a rousing business success for this gifted artist that she soon placed Bridget in the most prominent visual position in her Hall of Honour on her digital shop banner. In advertising placement, the 5-star spot, the graphic location that sells the most is, quite logically, the most expensive ad-space on the page. That sweet spot is toward the farthest right (upper right-hand corner) on the page because the human eye travels from left to right upon first sight, and tends to stay on that upper-corner quadrant.
The Baby Love occupies that sweet marketing spot.
This young woman lived in Kyiv, and hopefully, will — one glorious day — live again, in Kyiv. Her shop is, for the moment, temporarily closed. She, like many other artisans in Kyiv, and in Kharkiv, and in Odessa, and in so many other towns and cities of this uniquely industrious and dynamically proud and patriotic nation — those Ukrainians have informed online shoppers thusly:
“Sorry, the store is temporarily closed. As soon as the situation in our country improves, we will return to work. You can write to me with any questions, I will be happy to answer.”
Calm, confident, courageous, determined, with attitude.
Those words describe Bridget Louise, my Duchess. Those words can only begin to describe the people of Ukraine as they fight to live in liberty, by standing up to a bully. And by dying, if need be, to vanquish the yoke of servitude that would take them back to Soviet enslavement.
Liberty is not for everyone. For those who cherish liberty, and life, the battle for liberation is, like THE DAWN, always eternal and blessed. This gift of liberty comes to us from God. It’s the dieu-donné, granted to us, but we must guard that gift and protect it, daily, hourly, nightly.
There are heroes who now reign among the angels, because they were valiant humans who aspired to the angels. Their mission on earth was accomplished; and, accordingly, they found their home with celestial beings who watch the warriors who shall continue the fight . . .