Smallest ~ Very Tiny Little Red Riding Hood and Alice in Wonderland ~
~ Gifts from my friend Marietta. Thanks Et! ~
A couple of months ago, my friend Gabrielle left a couple of mysterious facebook messages. First, there was:
Did you know that your brain contains atoms that were once part of Albert Einstein?
Then a couple of days later:
I just want to let all of you guys that you're leftover stardust! I love you guys! So go be an amazing leftover star!
After that one, I just had to write back and ask her:
Q: Gabi, Have you been reading "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man - in - the - Moon Marigolds"? I love that play!
A: By Paul Zindel? No, I haven't read it, but I should! I'm actually doing my physics homework right now. I am not a nerd . . . okay maybe a little! I've always found it fascinating that we're interconnected through a bunch of atoms. It's just more evidence that we're all part of one big picture. I'll definitely have to read "The Effect of Gamma Rays."
Ah ha! Physics homework! That explains it!
However, you can see why Gabi's posts made me think of Paul Zindel's play, in which the main character, Tillie delivers the following cosmic explanation of her science fair project. Tillie's stirring science fair speech never fails to give me goosebumps! She is a girl of such true vision, and one of my all time favorite literary heroines:
"For one thing, the effect of gamma rays on man-in-the-moon marigolds has made me curious about the sun and the stars, for the universe itself must be like a world of great atoms . . . but most important, I suppose ...my experiment has made me feel important--every atom in me, in everybody, has come from the sun--from places beyond our dreams. The atoms of our hands, the atoms of our hearts" (101-02).
(See my book blog Still Not Too Late: April 29, 2009)
Not long after my chat with Gabi, another friend had a great passage to share at our First Friday discussion group. But first, she said, "Do you have one of those Russian nesting dolls that we could look at?" Do I? I have big ones, little ones, authentic classics, cheap imitations, storybook characters, cats, Santas. And that's just for a start. I ran a got a few sets, and my friend Nancy read aloud:
"Keep in mind, as you pray and meditate, that the God inside of you is more powerful than anything else in the world. The entire cosmos is imprinted on every atom of your being. . . .
"You can think of the universe as a set of wooden Russian matryoshka dolls, with each doll having a smaller one inside of it. The entire visible universe is the outermost doll, and nested inside it are galaxies, solar systems, stars, planets -- right down to the smallest doll, which is you. But inside of you is an even smaller doll that somehow has the biggest doll inside of it. When you figure out this riddle, you will have discovered the key to your ascension!"
from Reincarnation: The Missing Link In Christianity
by Elizabeth Clare Prophet (1939 - 2009)
Talk about goosebumps! Naturally, as soon as I heard this, I had to share my favorite passage from The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man - in - the - Moon Marigolds, as well a quick summary of my recent conversation with Gabi. Atoms, atoms everywhere!
I have collected many matryoshka sets over the years and have been given many as presents, especially when I was writing extensively about dolls and miniatures and the secrets of interiority. Most enlightening on this topic is Susan Stewart's book: On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection. Stewart's insight on the dollhouse -- "the house within a house" and even more so, "the dollhouse within the dollhouse and its promise of an infinitely profound interiority" -- is equally applicable to the nesting Matryoshka / Matreshka dolls, stacked and nested so neatly within one another:
"Transcendence and the interiority of history and narrative are the dominant characteristics of the most consummate of miniatures -- the dollhouse. A house within a house . . . a space within an enclosed space . . . the locket or the secret recesses of the heart: center within center, within within within. The dollhouse is a materialized secret; what we look for is the dollhouse within the dollhouse and its promise of an infinitely profound interiority." (p 61)
The atoms of our hearts, the key to our ascension, the tiny doll inside of us that somehow contains the entire universe -- herein lies the mystery of the matryoshka. Within within within.
and Giant Mummy Earrings from Von's
SEE YOU IN TWO WEEKS FOR MY
Next Fortnightly Post
Monday, March 28, 2011
Between now and then, read
THE QUOTIDIAN KIT
my shorter, almost daily blog posts
Looking for a good book? Try
my running list of recent reading
and my book
THE MINIATURE BODY OF THE DOLL
AS SUBJECT AND OBJECT