I did not learn art.
I was born crying with emotion that has never stopped expressing itself.
The darkest of childhood memories laced with magic.
The kitchen was a place of fear…
Where crashing and sounds of mothers cry filled the air.
The hallway was a long dark tunnel…
With the sound of a hurt puppy and crying child.
My room was a place were closets and the underside of the bed had no monsters.
My monsters lived in non-traditional spaces.
Darkness was not a place for monsters in my world.
Darkness was a blanket of protection and a void were the imagination could flourish.
There was a cave in my closet, a dark space were I could get lost.
I had a fortress of stuffed animals that stood up bravely in front of me.
You shall not pass.
We will die for you.
We will cry with you.
We will share your burdens.
Chico, the last of the stuffed warriors, is now 35 years old.
He lost his nose in the war and injured his tail.
His eyes are old and damaged and there are thin patches in his fur.
Chico, my dear mouse, I see so much sadness in your eyes.
Yet, I also see love, dreams, and forgiveness.
I cleaned him up, gave him a new nose, and tailored the finest clothes for him.
We have felt the earth quake beneath the foot steps of the monster.
We have seen the monsters rampage and have dodged falling glass and steel together.
We have traveled the dunes of the underside of the bed…
And the caves of the closets together.
We have painted the walls and walked through glass windows together.
We have gone to space on the swing set and have gone to the desert in the sand pit.
We have seen faeries and had adventures in the tree house.
We have traveled the world together.
We have built worlds within a lonely child’s mind.
I did not create Chico. I did not learn art.
Chico was born from tragedy.
There are little bubbles of memories inside that small stuffed mouse.
There are hopes and dreams.
There are poems and tear stains.
Chico was my best friend, my family, my therapist, my guardian.
Chico is a piece of my sole.
We are still here.
Chico is still the keeper of my soul, my dreams, and my imagination.
Chico the Warrior stands proud with happiness behind his scratched eyes.
I did not learn art.