I don’t know what comes over me. I had a million things to do today, half of which I got done, but something told me that since I’d fixed Jesus, it was now time to deal with St. Joseph.
I don’t even go to church, why do I feel compelled to do these things?
It must be a combo of residual Catholic guilt and missing my dad. I’ve been working on a couple of stories about Dad this week, and I could feel Joseph giving me the evil eye, from the corner of my desk, where he lay cracked and ignored. Joseph and my dad were pals.
Joseph has been an orphan since my father passed away. He’d been part of our manger scene since my childhood, which makes both both of us vintage. Then my mom took a ceramics class and painted a giant (two foot tall) Joseph and Mary. Jesus was about a foot tall himself.
When she put them all under the tree, the new super-sized Jesus, Mary and Joseph towered over everyone, like holy Gullivers over the Lilliputians. So this little Joseph got demoted and had to trail behind with the other shepherds.
I think my dad felt sorry for him. Since Joseph was a carpenter and probably a pretty handy guy, my dad kept him in his workshop. He ended up with another ousted shepherd, on a shelf, staff-less, but since he had no sheep it really wasn’t a problem.
As my brothers were cleaning out my dad’s workshop, Joseph almost got tossed, but I said I wanted to keep the man who kept my dad company for years, even if he was dirty, moldy and missing a staff. He cracked somewhere on his way to California.
I got to work with water, Q-tips and 409, and Joseph cleaned up nicely. I discovered that he’d already been beheaded once and glued back together, a fate that befell pretty much every icon in my parents home. Clearly, it is possible to be loved too much.
Then, came the glueing, which would have been easier if Superglue hadn’t gotten stuck on my fingers, which then left Joseph’s parts glued to me. I almost glued myself to the table, but lifted my fingers just in time.
Once Joseph was back together, I added the final touch, the piece of paper on the bottom that said, Japan.
Now he needed a little sprucing up, so I colored in what cracks I could and colored his hair. I even found an old twist tie that when unfolded resembled a rickety staff Joseph would have carried.
When I was done I was very impressed with myself. I think he looks great. Not that the Vatican wants me to restore their frescoes, but I think my dad would be pleased.
Joseph is now watching over me as I write. I’m hoping he comes up with my next blog post.