“You must unlearn what you have learned.”—Yoda
A FB memory from two years ago popped up this morning of Taz and me in a photo booth in Stockholm, Sweden.
It made me happy to see the two of us clowning around, being goofy.
Taz and I had a lot of silly rituals. We watched every episode of “Gilmore Girls” together and our favorite character was the eccentric Kirk Gleason who, over the course of seven seasons, worked as everything from a bath mat salesman to a termite exterminator to a parachute jumper. We regularly sent each other pictures of Kirk, in all his glory. We called it “The Daily Kirk.”
On the first of every month, whichever of us proclaimed “Hedgehog” first, was guaranteed a lucky month. It started when she was in grade school, but even in college we’d text each other the simple phrase. Since she stayed up late, as college students do, she always prevailed at 12:01 on the dot. When she lived in Europe after college, 12:01 came several hours before I even qualified for our little game.
Someone emailed the other day, inquiring about page 92 in E-Squared. I told the story of baby Taz’s high fever, me being frantic with worry and hearing a voice with startling clarity: “I didn’t give you this great gift just to take it away.”
This reader wanted to know what happened.
I, too, sometimes wonder. But, in my better moments, I echo what Julia Roberts told an interviewer who asked if she regretted never having an adult relationship with her father who died of throat cancer when she was 11 or 12. She replied, “Are you kidding me? He’s with me all the time.”
On the first day of the last three months, Taz has sent me a hedgehog. On May 1, it came in the form of a news clip about British rocker Peter Doherty who was temporarily hospitalized after being stabbed with a…hedgehog spike.
On June 1, the word “hedgehog” came in as a text message…from (don’t ask me how?) Taz’s phone.
July 1, I was at the toy store buying a birthday gift for my friend’s one-year-old grandbaby. I asked the clerk what was the hottest new toy for a one-year-old. Without hesitating, she took me straight to a stacking hedgehog pull toy.
So, as I told the reader who emailed me, “Taz hasn’t been taken away. She’s still very much here, albeit in a different form.
Taz now has the broader perspective I so desire and, like Yoda, she’s teaching me to unlearn everything I know.
So, my fine-feathered friends, I’ll say it once again: Go out now and have the very best weekend of your lives.
Pam Grout is the author of 19 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.