miss ed third day
How fast a baby donkey is walking independently has been catching my attention day after day. Each day the baby donkey is bigger, more stable on its feet, more in line with mama's movements and more in tune to mama's teaching. First couple of days when baby stepped inside mama's forbidden zone while she was having her grain, Jenny popped baby with a hoof. They were not power kicks, not even kicks, but a firm nudge saying go no further. Today, Friday, baby's fourth day, Jenny merely lifts her back hoof off the ground, just a gesture, and baby backs out of range. I've seen that baby stands midway between Jenny and Jack, just out of range of their back legs, while they are grazing. Baby's first learning as a young donkey was that donkeys kick, it's what donkeys do. And donkeys need to learn to take a kick before they are able to kick. Jenny's instruction these first few days I am looking at as "mother's milk," instruction so early in development it shapes us into who we are unconsciously, pre rational thinking.
this was inside jenny
A few months before baby was born, I asked the three year old child of my friend Meredith, who is living in the greater San Francisco area of several cities grown into one, to name Jenny's baby when it arrives. I've known Meredith all her life as the daughter of my friends Lucas and Judy. Teddy, her three year old, was kind of struck dumb being asked out of the blue to name a donkey. I realized then it was a tall order, conceptually, for a three year old. Hadn't considered that. I thought it might have been presumptuous to ask a three year old to stretch his mind that far. He said, "I'll have to think about it." I thought it remarkable for a three year old to say he'll have to think about it. Maybe I did pick the right kid to ask. I wanted to ask the youngest person I know. Teddy. I wanted a name I would never think of on my own, a name separate from my mind. A couple days later, Teddy spoke. He said, "Mr Ed if it's a boy. Miss Ed if it's a girl." I wondered how a three year old in San Francisco knew about Mr Ed the talking horse. Montessori pre-school maybe?
miss ed's natural born camouflage
Of course, my editing mind went to work over-riding original intent, thinking I wanted a girl's name, a variation of Ed. Didn't care for Edna or Edith, but liked Edie. Thought I'd change from Miss Ed to Edie. Edie sounded good in my mind. But out in the meadow with the baby, I could not call it Edie. The name did not fit. Miss Ed fit. I found my mind automatically thought of the baby as Miss Ed. I'd look at her and Miss Ed was how I'd think of her. Then by association, Edie Sedgwick came to mind and would not leave. She was a rich California air-head who went to NY in the time of Andy Warhol's Factory, was given a big spread in Vogue as the latest new thing in New York. She fell in with the Factory bunch, upper middle-class junkie runaways, became a junkie right away and the subject of Bob Dylan's song, Like a Rolling Stone. She fell through the bottom and went back home to California, unable to take care of herself, and lived in an empty swimming pool. She symbolizes for me the ultimate loser. I did not feel right naming my baby donkey after a psycho air-head junkie. It didn't feel right to name Jenny's baby after a child who had been raped by her daddy throughout her childhood. When I thought of the baby donkey as Edie, Edie Sedgwick popped up in my mind's eye. I did not resonate with the association.
miss ed's ears
All the time my mind was chewing on the name Edie, Miss Ed was there as the baby's name all along. The original intent behind asking a three year old to name the baby donkey was to bypass my own mind. While the baby was being born, she was Miss Ed. She was Miss Ed before she was born. Every time I looked at the baby, I automatically thought, Miss Ed. I asked a baby to name a baby in order to bypass my own ego. Naturally, ego had to jump in to assert itself, take over, say Mine, spray paint my initials on it gangsta style. Once I made the decision to go with Edie, Edie Sedgwick grew and grew in my mind's eye. I went to YouTube to see videos of her in the Warhol time. Her image grew in my mind until I wanted mind free of images of a psychological plane crash, someone whose surface was privileged, and below the thin surface the heart of darkness. I can't burden my baby donkey with those associations in my head. By the end of the third day I realized my error of editing original purpose. I sighed relief and inhaled understanding that Miss Ed really is the donkey's name. I only think of her as Miss Ed. By now, after thinking about it all day yesterday, I am repelled by the thought of naming the donkey Edie. Miss Ed she is. She is so much Miss Ed I wonder if Teddy had intuitional access to Jenny's baby.
photos by tj worthington