Angels at the WDM

January 3, 2010 at 7:34 pm (Memoir, My City) (, , , , )

I celebrate Christmas along with many other winter festivals – the season for me starts with the Solstice. I’m agnostic for the most part but was raised in the Christian church so I get nostalgic over certain rituals, customs, and stories.

Here’s what the Eaton’s angels mean to me – they are participating in a story. Well, two stories really or perhaps, two parts of the same story. I’m all about the story, any story, all stories. My whole world revolves around stories. 🙂

These angels are busy being generous and helpful. They are making what people need no matter where the people are or who they think they are. Royalty as well as peasants would appreciate these angel’s gifts.

They are sweet little angels; not the serious, forbidding traditional angels. They are traditional type cherubs; small angels, portrayed as child-like with innocent rosy faces. These angels are busy, helpful, cheerful – they would toil for centuries never complaining about the ungratefulness of modern society. This is the trait I hate most in myself; the sacrificing my wants to take care of others’ wishes and dreams.

Here we have the story of the sewing circle:

Obviously only female angels were regulated to this task.  = ;-0

There are angels sewing and knitting. Look at the detail in that yarn cabinet; the many colours – orange, yellow, pink, red. Look at the tiny sewing machine. It actually works. Watch the needle move up and down. Our knitting angel has glasses. She’s ruined her eyes knitting those tiny garments for your dolls.

Here is a close-up of the quilting angels. My mom quilted using a frame like this. I still have quilts she made that have remnants of my old wardrobe in them. It’s strange sometimes to fall asleep comforted by this physical closeness of the past. Look closely. Such sparkly halos. Such transparent, invisible wings. Such tiny fingers. Such devotion to task.

These angels are not at all like Margaret Atwood’s Angel of Suicide.

Here is the story of the Angel’s Workshop. Here we can see that there are male angels as well. They get to hammer and use the lathe. The female angels get to paint pretty pictures (yawn).  Where are Georgia O’Keefe’s flowers?

The men get to hammer and hang out talking with giant wooden soldiers. They get to make noise as they make toys.  The women are kept busy doing the finishing touches and painting pretty picture of holly leaves.

Perhaps that half finished doll to the right of this blond angel is the Angel of Suicide. I seem to remember that the angel of suicide has no face.

These angels are all very white aren’t they? You couldn’t get away with that now. I’d like to see a more multi-cultural, gender neutral remake of these workshops.

Cynical of me to notice all the complications. But if you’ve been reading awhile, you already know I’m pragmatic and cynical. Go to the bottom of my Ravishing R post for my favourite quote about angels.

Not very holiday-like, is it.

I do like this part of the Eaton’s display. It’s my second favourite – after the Winterkins. I just sometimes wish I could still view the displays through child-like eyes. The holidays were much more fun when I didn’t complicate them with such cynical observations.

I hope your holidays were filled with more good occurrences than bad.

Blessings on the New Year.


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