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lauantai 11. marraskuuta 2017

Mange & Monique


I think November is such a good month for storytelling. Days are getting shorter and evenings longer day by day here in Finland. Since I don't have any new stories to tell at the moment, here is a little story I told a year ago in November on Instagram and which I now have taken a bit further. This is a story which started to tell itself when I picked the cold colors of blue and grey from my yarn basket in summer 2016, blackbirds were giving their concert on the background on a warm and sunny day, and a little fellow called Mange introduced himself while I was crocheting him. This is also a story which makes my inner critic to say that please don’t publish anything this ridiculous, absurd and not thought through. And therefore I guess it is exactly why it is good for me to do so (in this case). So here we go in case there is something for anyone, with a story about Mange and Monique, told with  😉 and of course with ❤.

Mange is a seasoned sailor, or “a sea bear”, merikarhu as we also say in Finnish. He knows the cold winds and the ice-covered waters of the Northern seas very well. And how in the winter time everything looks like to be almost upside down in North. The scarce glimmering light comes from the snow and the sky remains dark throughout the days. However, without this generosity from the sky to donate the background, the stars and Northern lights wouldn’t be able to share their beauty for us. There is an interdependence, co-operation and generosity in everything, between the sailor and the sea as well which Mange knows very well.

During one of his journeys, in one of the ports near the equator, Mange's eyes caught a pair of beautiful teddy bear eyes shining like two stars while he was loading cargo on his ship. He realized that from there onward, there would be two new stars shining bright in the sky and together with the Northern star those would always guide him home should he sometimes get lost.

This pair of eyes later introduced herself with the name Monique, an experienced sailor as well, who had sailed the Southern seas for many years. Since I have never been to the Southern hemisphere, I have struggled to describe her journeys. I know though that there are vast seas Monique has had to cross as there is more sea to sail in the Southern hemisphere. And whenever El Nino gains force, nothing is sure anymore and it has given her a certain appreciation and gratitude for what is here and now since future seas are unpredictable. I am also sure that Monique, when seeing Mange, blushed all the way up to the first stitch of her crocheted teddy bear ears (yes, I ran out of brown yarn), and she didn’t know in which direction the compass of her teddy bear heart was beating any more. North or South, East or West. I guess she knew though that it was time to trust Mange’s compass together with her own - just as you need a different compass to find the right direction and your way home in the Southern and the Northern hemisphere.

When looking at the original story now, a year later, it occurred to me that perhaps it is a different kind of navigation that the Southern and Northern seas have teached these two bears, based on what is now and what lies ahead. Monique has learned to adjust the sails and rebuild the boat itself over and over again in order to be able to cope and face the outer circumstances, waves and storms whenever she has encountered them. And it has taken time for Monique to find more serene waters and gentler winds guided by her intuition and trust that it is the right way, even though not always the easy one. Perhaps Mange, on the other hand, has learned to sail based on logic, calculations and predictions to avoid the many ice bergs causing danger in the Northern seas and how every journey has needed a careful planning because of the ice situation in winter time. 

To open up the story a bit more, Mange means “many” in Danish and Monique “only one, alone” and comes from the Greek word monos. And inside the names are vowels A and O, Alpha and Omega, from the beginning to the end, a symbol for wholeness as well. As I mentioned in the beginning, I don’t see the story clearly yet, only that it I am playing with the mutual interdependence of the opposites, North and South. Perhaps this is just one of those stories that keep on developing before becoming a clear history from Mange to Monique, whole. And there may be too much stereotypical thinking here – the feminine being the intuitive and the masculine the logical. And of course the names could be for example Mange and Mo or Mary and Monique, there is only love and teddy bears. 

The real crocheted critters I have been planning to give to charity, but it is just one of those things that somehow don’t get done. Other teddy bears I have given every now and then and I am always happy if someone asks. These two deserve someone who loves them and comes up with new and better adventures for them, more real. So let us hope though that the seas and the stories are kind to Mange and Monique and they don’t meet any pirates or sea monsters on their way. 

And as I wished on Instagram last year, I think it is a proper wish now as well: Wishing you a lovely continuation on November, hope the winds of the world are benign for all of us! 

Pirjo ;-)


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