J.R. used to call me his “kachina” doll. It was by all means a far better play on my name than some of the cruder jokes I heard. I neither loved it nor hated it, but I did appreciate the spark of creative intellect. I was a weird writer pretending to want to be a scientist, and he was a misfit musician. I often thought his sky blue eyes with long, curling lashes would have looked better on a woman.
I probably should truly have seen it as a compliment of sorts, had I had the Internet at my fingertips. I knew vaguely that the kachina were associated with the Native Americans of the Southwest. Although several tribes shared the concept, the Hopi made it famous.
Kachinas are almost like angels. They bring messages between humans and the spiritual realms. They also controlled many of the creatures in nature as well as the elements that were beneficial. Unlike angels, they did have families and relationships.
Although the kachina were not worshipped, they were respected and honored for their role in creation. As for their actions they sang and danced, gave children gifts, and ensured a good harvest through proper weather.
Ancient astronaut theorists claim that they may even be aliens. (You may stop laughing now.) But regardless of fringe suppositions, they were exotic, exquisite, and ethereal.
Thanks, J.R., for seeing in me early what it would take me nearly two decades to believe was there all along.