Franz Kafka, the story goes, encountered a little girl in the park where he went walking daily. She was crying. She had lost her doll and was desolate.
Kafka offered to help her look for the doll and arranged to meet her the next day at the same spot. Unable to find the doll he composed a letter from the doll and read it to her when they met.
"Please do not mourn me, I have gone on a trip to see the world. I will write you of my adventures." This was the beginning of many letters. When he and the little girl met he read her from these carefully composed letters the imagined adventures of the beloved doll. The little girl was comforted.
When the meetings came to an end Kafka presented her with a doll. She obviously looked different from the original doll. An attached letter explained: “my travels have changed me… “
Many years later, the now grown girl found a letter stuffed into an unnoticed crevice in the cherished replacement doll. In summary it said: “every thing that you love, you will eventually lose, but in the end, love will return in a different form.”
For me there are two wise lessons in this story: Grief and loss are ubiquitous even for a young child. And the way toward healing is to look for how love comes back in another form. - May Benatar
So, I see this kind of thing a lot:
- Wow, I can’t believe I used to like that
- I was such a loser when I was 13
- What was WRONG with me
- I just found some of my writing from the 90s. How embarrassing.
And here’s what I always want to say when people say things like…
Brooke DiDonato is a fine art photographer based in New York City.
Her work blurs the boundaries of fiction by fusing real-life narratives with surreal, dream-like elements. She is inspired by the subconscious mind and its relation to our emotions and perceptions.
Brooke’s work has been nationally recognized by Photographer’s Forum Magazine, Creative Quarterly and College Photographer of the Year. She received a gold in illustration from College Photographer of the Year in 2012.
"Right after I lost vision in my eye, I was so bad at walking that I ran into a girl eating ice cream, and knocked her cone out of her hand. She screamed: ‘Are you blind!?!?’ I turned to her and said: ‘I am blind actually, I’m so sorry, I’ll buy you a new cone.’ And she said: ‘Oh my God! I’m so sorry! Don’t worry! It’s no problem at all! I’ll buy another one.’ So we walked into the ice cream store together, and the clerk said: ‘I heard the whole thing. Ice cream is free.’"