The Yellow Bag
When I first started working with a Jungian therapist who loved my artwork, I carried an ordinary canvas bag with my pad. When I started making cloth hearts they outgrew my plain canvas bag, and I made myself a large yellow canvas bag. I’ve used it now for 7 years as my therapy bag. It contains some artwork, though I do art irregularly now, and a collection of symbols that I can pull out if I need them, as well as some miscellaneous paperwork.
A fairly complete list of current contents:
- a man’s shirt which symbolizes my first father
- a symbol of my mother: a piece of blue-patterned cloth rolled up and tied with a red shoelace containing branches cut from a rose bush, a cloth fish, and a small human figure made of wire with a red-clay head
- two cloth frogs
- a ziplock bag of my hair (I don’t remember why)
- a bag of sidewalk chalk
- a red folding umbrella
- a small box with some pieces of flint
- a blanket I made, yellow satin on one side and a yellow and orange pattern on the other
- a lightweight silk rainbow—15 feet long and 3 feet wide
- a large red silk shawl
- most of a blue-and-white-patterned sheet, though part of it has been torn off
- a wooden cross with a cross of nails mounted on it—maybe 5 inches tall
- a silver spiral pin (still with a $12.95 pricetag on it)
- a small icon of Mary mounted as a magnet
- a folder of papers
- two knives made of paper, one with a blade covered with aluminum foil
- a small bag of marbles
- a container of bubble solution (for blowing bubbles)
- a spool of silver thread
Yesterday when I got to therapy I discovered my yellow bag, which I thought I had left in the car earlier in the week, wasn’t there. I was disturbed not to have it, but I thought I could have taken it into the house and forgotten I had done so, so I called home. My daughter reported that the police had just called to say that my yellow bag had been turned into the police station. The person who called me described it as having a lot of personal items in it (very polite of her) and some documents with my name on them. When I went by afterwards to pick it up they said it had been thrown over the fence at a construction site, so I guess it was stolen out of my car (which I don’t always lock).
Two things were missing from the bag. I had in there a plastic box which contained two Easter eggs—real blown eggs that I decorated as a child and gave as a gift to my grandparents. I was carrying them around thinking someday I would like to ceremonially smash them. The box and the note I wrote to my grandparents is still there, but the eggs are gone. The other thing that is missing is my art pad. I think it had three pages filled of which I remember two. One was a drawing of my hand being held over a candle. The other was a drawing of myself, nude, covered with geometric patterns of red lines. Sort of like a combination of this, this, and this. I’m a little weirded out that the person who took my bag kept my drawings. I hope they give him nightmares.