The size of two thumbs entwined, the bland, blond wood jigsaw puzzle object looks innocent enough. But it was a clandestine gift. It had to be small enough to be concealed in a pocket, inconspicuously, to arrive into my hands. The sentiment was and is unmistakable. An image of affectionate care, intimate connection, physical bonding it speaks volumes in spite of its complicity with a kind of formulaic cuteness. One of the hazards of owning cats, of course, is that people give you cat-themed gifts—soap dispensers, dishes, socks, vintage vases, and salt and pepper shakers–of which an infinite series seems to exist in this world.
I am, or was, a dog person. Odd that one never receives "dog gifts," if there are such things.
Thanks for that, Johanna. I haven't explored all your previously posted essays but I wouldn't be surprised if you also wrote about the evidence for templates embedded in our brains that help us recognize and assess "beauty." If such an essay exists in your archive, can you point to it? Thanks in advance.