September 19, 2012

Something Special

So as I was saying in my last post about my first day of Squam, during photography class, Thea asked us to photograph something special. So I took my corner out of my pocket and took pictures of myself doing what I do. What is a “corner”?

Well, it started when I was a toddler and I had a blankie with a corner I loved to run across my fingers and lips because it was tickly and it felt good in combination with sucking my thumb and it was comforting. It calmed me down, it soothed me. I forget what happened to that blankie but the next in line was the corner of a little pillowcase. I actually had that pillowcase until I was about 11. At that time I was still sucking my thumb at school and being teased about it so I came home from school one day and threw that pillowcase in the woodstove thinking that if I didn’t have it anymore, I would stop sucking my thumb. That didn’t happen.

There have been many corners since, cut off of various comforters, quilts, sheets, pillowcases – whatever feels “right”. This current one was cut off of a pink Carebears flannel sheet after my old corner, which had been the corner of a comforter, suddenly disappeared in our house and no one knows what happened to it. Or they saw my complete meltdown at its loss that they’re afraid to say that they messed with it…I have the other 3 corners from that sheet as backups, just in case.

Of course, they’re pink and brand new, they don’t look like the one below. Y’know how you season a cast iron pan? You season corners too. It’s a secret process that takes months to a year to get it just right but when it’s finished, it looks like the one below. (And just like a cast iron pan, you NEVER wash a corner. Best case scenario after washing is that you just have to “re-season” it. Worst case scenario is that washing it ruins it completely. You just don’t wash it, no matter how “gross” others may think it is. Take that as a lesson, all you parents out there with kids who have similar self-soothing items. Beware the washing machine! It’s traumatic!)

My corner goes with me everywhere. I am literally never without it on my person. It is the most important thing.

When I was 15 and in Whitby psych, one of the diagnoses they were throwing around was Asperger’s for a bunch of reasons and one of them was my corner and just how textile I am. If a texture is bad, I can’t even deal. This goes with food, with things that touch me or I touch them. I’m just extremely texture-oriented and my corner is definitely part of that. It makes me feel safe, it calms me down when I’m anxious or upset. When I was reading Hitchhiker’s Guide and they talk about always knowing where your towel is, I really related to that because I always know where my corner is. A towel, in the book, has useful applications of course, and all my corner does is keep me sane. Both are equally important I think, which is also why I carry around so much stuff. If we’re at a restaurant and the apocalypse happens, I’m pretty sure we’d be okay with just the contents of my purse. Corner included.

Anyway, that’s what it is. And this is what it looks like. I’ve mentioned it a few times over the years but I’ve never really explained what it is, what it’s for or what it looks like, so here ya go:

And that’s all I have to say about that.


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  1. Belinda says:

    I have a rag, you may or may not have seen it (probably not if you weren’t in my room) that I sleep with. It comes from when I was young and I sucked my thumb and breathed through a shirt (because my mom smoked and always wanted me to lay in the bed with her and I couldn’t breathe, so I started covering my nose with a shirt). I still suck my thumb, but at some point, the shirt became more important to me than thumbsucking. I’ve gone through several, and I accidentally left one at a hotel last year and I was totally devastated.

    • Sunny says:

      Yeah, you’ve shown me one of them before and told me about your mom smoking. I know that devastation. It feels like one of your pets died or something. :o(

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