Sunday, March 2, 2014
Mabel has possessed many pieces of wooden fruit in the three-and-a-half years of her life so far. As an infant she had a wooden fruit puzzle with six pieces, each with its own wooden handle (fragments of that puzzle can be seen in use here when Mabel was about nine months old – though by then one of the six wooden-fruit pieces had already gone missing for good).
At dawn this past Friday while Mabel still slept, I discovered some different pieces of wooden fruit – carved in half-round, with Velcro on the flat sides – resting silently on a corner of the dining table under the faint rainy daylight emerging from the sky. Their parent-toy was not in sight. They occupied the spot where the week's fresh flowers usually flaunt their faces.
Dawn is the best time for extracting compositions from the semi-random disposition of domestic objects. The rule is that nothing can be touched or altered. Everything must be taken as found.
When Mabel woke up, all this seeming stability dissolved. The apartment began to breathe and vibrate under her hand. Below, with nothing but a tiny plastic spade, she commands the inanimate universe and it leaps to rearrange itself.