In my garden I have this statue of a little girl. She stands in the middle of the grass, the only upright figure, dark against the green. Her eyes are closed, her mouth slightly open and her hands outstretched. She’s standing right on her tiptoes. She looks as though she’s about to fly; I keep waiting for delicate stone wings to sprout from her backbones. Or perhaps she’s waiting for a kiss. A kiss that will never come.
But that’s not what I love about the statue. What I love is the incredible, intricate detail. Everything about her is carved perfectly – her individual eyelashes, every strand of her wild curly hair, and the sweeping folds of her dress.
And the small, individual things: a scar on her ankle, a mole on her chin, and bitten fingernails on her hands. The statue is so detailed that sometimes I think it must’ve once been a real little girl, turned to stone. The passing years haven’t effected her at all: she hasn’t faded, or cracked, or been worn down by winds and rains and storms. Perhaps a strange magic is preserving her, keeping her there.
When I’m in my kitchen, preparing dinner alone, I look up and she catches my eye. The lonely little stone girl. And when the rains come, water collecting on her eyelashes and sliding down her cheeks like real tears, I can’t help but feel sorry for the girl; always waiting for something that will never come. Forever suspended, about to soar back to the heavens where she belongs – but frozen to stone in the act, eternally condemned to remain behind.
Crying in my garden. That little stone girl.