Dear Modelling Clay,
When you feel like you are being squashed and pushed around, don’t feel bad, because such kneading could be an intimate touch for constructing the sweetest memory.
Like that day, when I put you on the table and gently rolled you into one long strip, I had handed you to my 17-month-old son and said, “Julian, look, it’s a pen!” Without any hesitation, he took hold of you with both hands, placed you near a screw hole at the edge of the table, and started rotating his wrists while looking up at me. His bright eyes seemed to be saying, “Look, Mama, I’m tightening a screw!” It came to my mind then how I had found a loosened screw on his toy car the day before, and how I had fixed it with a screwdriver. I didn’t realise this could have given him such a deep impression, so profound that he would even be able to see you as a screwdriver. All of a sudden, my attempt to perceive you as a pen seemed rather lame.
Come to think of it, you still haven’t heard about how he has imitated me and made a brown clay duck. The thing is, I don’t think he would remember any of these when I show him this photo a few years from now. But I still try very hard to collect every bit of fragmented moments and mold them into the clay of memories.
I wish I could claim them as mine, but the truth is, you were there too, gently nesting in our palms. With the most intimate distance, you have always enjoyed caressing our most delicate love.