Hi there. I am Noa, the one with the Ukulele.
Due to Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, I am mostly bedbound or at least housebound. This lead to an acute lack of experience, which gave me alot of grief, because I love life, nature, plants, animals, people.
So, during a crazy moment, I got the idea of creating a surrogate — a small doll which would accompany my husband in the pockets of his jacket, when he is out, running errands.
My husband agreed to photograph my doll in random situations or beautiful moments and comes home with his photographic yield to present it to me.
I thought about it briefly and designed a crocheted, unpretentious, blue creature, that remotely reminded me of a three-toed sloth.
Sloths are considered lazy, but, in fact, they are as fast as their energy metabolism. Pretty much like me.
I called the little one Bradipuzius. That’s Bradypus (latin for three toed sloths) with a hint of Konfuzius (Chinese philosopher about 500 b.c.).
For a few weeks, Bradipuzius travelled within the jacket pocket of my husband and I got pictures of him with flowers, strange prohibition signs and railroad crossings.
That’s when I shared one of the pictures on Facebook, where many of my friends suffer from ME. Bradipuzius was supposed to be a little, blue, funny smartass. And he was supposed to create awareness and generate hope.
On top of the photo it said: “That it’s unreachable now doesn’t mean, it will be forever – Bradipuzius”
What followed was a burst of enthusiasm and a spontaneous naming of the species: “Wow, it’s a MEmi!” My friends liked the little guy very much and the requests started pouring in: “Could you make one for me?” “Awww so cute, I’d love to get one, too.”
I crocheted relentlessly. The early MEmis were homemade and somewhat rough. And quite naked. My friends and I have an illness in common, but we are not all alike, so the in time MEmis became more sophisticated – with hairdos and clothes to portray the preferences or features of their future owners.
Even if I get asked alot, I don’t sell them. MEmis are given for free. This is called “Die MEmi Philosophie.” I didn’t want anything in return, because I enjoy it a lot when gifts of love are not bartering, but spread themselves out.
I received big gifts several times in my life, given by people who saw that I was in need of something. It is a beautiful thing to give something in this manner. And also to receive something this way.
After Bradipuzius, came about in summer 2014, 31 more came to life during this first year, 28 delivered to Germany, the rest of them to Switzerland.
One more was delivered to Karina Hansen, a young ME sufferer, held in a psychiatric hospital against her will in Denmark. Shortly after, three MEmis traveled to the UK.
Now there are 75 MEmis. Because I suffer from loss of motor hand function, a constant production is never guaranteed, despite of me meeting new people who in my opinion are obviously in need of a MEmi.
But that’s how things are. Sometimes things work out. Sometime not so much. And I am not one of those people who measure success through steady quantitative growth.
The most active among all MEmi owners share their pictures within a private Facebook group. MEmis give ME patients joy and hope and help develop a sense of connectedness.
If one person walks in the woods once per year, this can make us all happy. And a funny crocheted creature on top of moss can make everybody grin. For we all need lightness.
Please listen to Noa’s amazing song while watching the MEmis. That is the best way to do it!
Noa and the MEmis
Visit Noa’s Bedfest Page
Visit Noa’s Facebook page
Visit Noa’s blog: Die MEmi Philospohie