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teabowls,breasts: viking style/steph's post

updated tue 7 oct 03


Joyce Lee on mon 6 oct 03

What a delightful image, Steph. Love it.
We used to "play" Vikings as well as
Indian Princesses ..... one of my rare
experiences with clay before retirement.
We found clay ..... and what was
probably slip/slurry..... on the edge of
our town's flood control....... so easy to drown
there.... this was from age 6 to maybe 8.

I recall very well making tiny little pots......
now know they were pinch pots....
with no rules about forming them. They
were never fired, of course, but in my
memory they were little treasures. I'd
forgotten about that

Mama Luce
didn't know I was missing though it was
a considerable distance from our house and
I must have been gone for "awhile."
She was busy with the twins and migraines
and never enough money and neglected talents....
AND had grown up on a tobacco farm/
horse ranch where she and her 6 siblings
ran free.

In time, other little waifs joined us..
eventually a couple of little boys... we
had all sorts of ceremonies.... of our own
creation..... some involved my precious
clay dishes as rewards or prizes....
no real causes that we knew
about to identify with..... just our own
need to be something else, I guess. It
was a Magic Time, one of my few
consistent sequential memories ....
eventually we were discovered..... after
a mourning period, we switched our
explorations to
the dump where a couple of black equally
young ones joined us ...... they lived
segregated, though none of us knew that
term .... but lived "across the railroad track"
..... my
daddy's railroad track where his warehouses
were located and all his carloads of DelMonte
and Libby's products were unloaded.
We played on the tracks as
well as on the dump..... and had our ceremonies
once again.

Somebody told my dad and that was that!
End of a Perfect Childhood to that point.
I was corralled but good.... I could walk
down the hill to the town library .. and that
was it for an endless period.

Still ...... to this day ..... mentions of flood
control plains, dumps .....bestir gentle
thoughts. For a long time so did
mud until my experiences with such became more
mature... and all consuming.

In the Mojave where the new California
King mattress was
delivered and ....... drat...... with the new
box springs it came well above my waist and
I'm 5'7" ...... slept on it one night, using a
footstool to climb up .... kind of
Scarlett O'Hara'ish .... but made me fearful
that #1 Support Person might fall off from
that height and really hurt himself. So the
springs are going out .... and the mattress
stands alone. Never realized that my life
was/is so fraught with danger.......

----- Original Message -----
From: "Stephani Stephenson"
Sent: Sunday, October 05, 2003 8:47 PM
Subject: Teabowls,breasts: Viking style

> Oh yes Kelly the analogy is played out in various forms
> When I was a younger and wilder thing
> my dear friend Cheri came from the east coast
> to the lovely Palouse. She brought with her a great
> tradition
> (though I suspect it was of her own making)
> which she called the Viking women tradition.
> At sundown of the evening of the full moon
> (or new moon, or whatever phase of the moon you choose,
> actually.)
> We would stand together , 5 or 6 of us
> holding between us, the ceremonial breastplate
> (usually , a large wok)
> holding the breastplate at chin level, by the rim
> the ceremonial breastplate would then be filled with beer
> and we would begin a circular tipping motion with the
> breastplate/wok
> as the great tide of beer circumnavigated the periphery of
> the breastplate
> the Viking woman was honor bound to slurp it , with Viking
> vigor as it came around.
> I don't know if we ever drained it, though I think we were
> supposed to
> acch how can you ever drain it? ..
> as it is the fount of life?
> we were known usually to collapse in giggles and then
> commence joyful plunder
> in field, farm ,and town.
> A teabowl would have served our daintier pursuits,
> but would not have given us the vigor we needed to wrestle
> boys,
> cartwheel down hills and leap hay bales , as was our
> fashion.
> Stephani Stephenson
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