Full Book coming soon…
When my daughter was 3 and her sister was a rolling heartbeat in my belly,
she asked if we could make party hats for the ball family.
34 balls came to the party at the dining room table:
old fashioned red white and blue rubber balls
souvenir balls with airplanes or dinosaurs or swirly bits of twirl
suspended in some magical compound of clear bounce
tiny jacks balls
baby bocce balls and bowling balls
miniature baseballs, soccer balls, basketballs
handfuls of the sweetest little bouncers
in every colour,
from games and loot bags and plastic globes in mall dispensers
all corralled in a gossamer bag with a satin ribbon from Mama.
We made the party hats from any kind of paper:
gift wrap, tin foil, coloured paper, paper coloured, scraps.
we wrapped the paper into a cone,
and cut it where it would fit the ball
and taped it into place.
it was quite the party!
Ever since that day,
when we three
were such a huddle of closeness,
a bubble of party planning,
I’ve come to imagine,
over the years,
the games the Ball Family
might have played at their parties,
their family reunions and assorted festive gatherings…
What if they invited a boxful of alphabet pasta
to play Ball Family Scrabble and Boggle
and Balderdash and Charades?
What if the letters made friends into words
and the Ball Family played hopscotch and leap frog
and Red Rover?
What if they all went to the beach in the summer and wrote
messages in the sand and slipped them into bottles,
the Ball Family bouncing in to make stop dots and other marks
when the word lines got carried away
like those dancing trains at wedding parties
or what if, in the winter, the Ball Family put on their toques and went outside as snow balls
and pelted sense
into ice cubed messages on frozen rivers and lakes
and amongst the stars?
And what if the Ball Family realized they could use their bouncy selves and pointy hats
to bring meaning – through their dots and dashes and marks and curves and glyphs
of every imagining – to the tumbly, jumbled pile of letters, words and sentences
that form those endless, dancing trains of thought;
the poems and shimmering prose,
those heartfelt trains of soul and song,
of jazz, of rhythm and blues
that track their ways onto pages
and screens and scores
to make a magic code
that I could write and you could read
and we’d both know the knowing.
And what if that were all true?
and who’s to say it isn’t so?
now I’ve thought it
and written it
and drawn it
and told it
it’s as true as that huddle time so long ago
when we first made party hats for the Ball Family
and we shared a little bubble of knowing
there is always some way to make sense of the jumble…