The Story of ZuZu

Just last weekend Sam and I traveled up to Seattle to attend “MythicWorlds.” This was not only our first time traveling without our children but also the first time we left Nymbol at home. He was not happy but we put him in charge of the house while we were gone and made him responsible for the girls. That went about as well as could be expected but that is another story.

This trip marked a unique moment for our little troupe. We went to Mythic Worlds with the idea of just being “walk around” performers. It was a new learning for us but it was also lots of fun. We have naturally moved into this concept for a variety of reasons but the real reason is that we have more flexibility and more to offer. It also means we can go and perform somewhere without hauling all of our craziness. It was a golden moment when we unpacked the critters and looked at one another. We were done setting up. Something that usually takes days.

The real excitement to our Mythic Worlds experience was the lead up to and the creation of Zuzu. From Concept to completion Zuzu took about 3 weeks. This was much faster than I would have liked but there is nothing like a firm date to really push and explore your creativity. In the end this was an “All hands on Deck” affair and it wouldn’t have been completed in time otherwise. If you want to see the process go back and click on Zuzu, or click on that last one. (Sam added that I am not allowed to put us through that again.)

In this creative process I decided to share our madness with some teaser photos. It was fun and I really appreciated those who mentioned they were following the creation. It also created this really interesting moment. I was not sure whether or not Zuzu was a boy or a girl. Usually, the creature tells you somewhere along the way if it hasn’t already been decided. Zuzu wouldn’t tell us. In fact, the name Zuzu came from one of our dearly departed cats. One of our favorites. This first little furball was thought to be a girl when we named her but low and behold, under all that fur were a couple boyberries. It took us a while to figure this out and it in the end it didn’t matter. Zuzu was a lovely cat and to this day may absolute favorite. Back to the white dragon. Once I posted photos those that responded were very curious to the sex of said creature. There were varying opinions but I never got a clear answer. We were talking about it at the table when One of the girls said, “I don’t know, but what I do know is that it is rude to ask a dragon what sex it is.” In that moment we had our answer. We didn’t care. Not that we didn’t care,….it didn’t matter to us. We would love it the same no matter what. This seemed like a lesson bigger than the creature itself and I need to do some more research and think on the matter. Any positive advice would be welcomed. So, for the moment Zuzu is a “they” and learning from our discussion on the matter, (Thank you Kevin) it could be Ze. Maybe Zuzu might be a Zeze.

Following this thread for just one more moment I need to tell a very short but transformative story for me. When I was younger I had an Uncle named John. He was the baby of a large Irish Catholic family in Ayer, Massachusetts. He did what a young gay man in the 70’s does. He joined the priesthood and became a monk. It was a good experience for him but after a few years of this he decided that was not the path for him. He left to go back to school and get his nursing degree from Yale. I had questions. Questions my mom would not answer about her brother so I did what an impertinent teen would do. I just asked him. He was gracious, intelligent and very concerned with my well being in his response. I really appreciated being treated like an adult with the way he handled my questions. My uncle and his friends were always full of laughter and joy and I cherished being around them. In 1990 my uncle was diagnosed with AIDS and this was during the height of the epidemic and traditional medicine was a step behind. The current life prolonging solution would not come early enough and my Uncle passed away in early 1992. Why this whole story you ask,… because before he passed he gave me the greatest gift ever. During our last visit with him he told me a very long and detailed story about the little Faerie who had come to visit him. This little glowing creature dressed in brilliant blue sat in the flower pot next to his bed and talked to him for hours. Not only had my Uncle given me the gift of understanding what it really means to be a human being,  he also proved to me that there is so much more in this world than the plane we can see. To believe in Faeries is really a powerful thing.

Zuzu is dedicated to his memory. John Zak 1950-1992