#23 Mending

tortoises, cats, chickpea crackers

Hi. You’re reading this because you subscribed to letter from marn. Every week i send an email like I’d to a friend, sometimes about difficult things, sometimes nonsense, mostly about making textile art. You can see my work at Noisybeak, and follow on my instagram @noisybeak

When I was small, or young, or what is commonly known as a child, I was given a tortoise in a plastic tank the size of a bento box.

One day I Iifted the neon lid by its handle, and there was only dissolved brown dry food in a puddle of murky water.

I don’t blame the tortoise for leaving.

I can’t even remember the name of if it or if it was a his or her. I don’t remember it bigger than my palm, my 5 year old palm.

The glint in its eyes followed by a bite of my finger, that I cannot forget.

I wonder if it ever vacationed in the Bahamas, or raised a family of 100 or devoted to educating the younger generation on how not to be captured.

Clarence. Winson. Gabe and Victoria in progress. I take a long time with each tortoise. Am I affected by the stereotype. Or am I making amends. One can only move slow carrying a heavy heart. Maybe I’m stitching in each tortoise things I did not tell my nameless tortoise. 


Them again. I know. I need to make them. Or they haunt my dreams. Thank you for letting me work through my fears. 

Even after making enough beakies to fill a wading pool, I still struggle with every beakie, usually of my own doing. 

Tara was saved from negligence. I ignored an easily fixed small hole and allowed it to grow and eventually harm Tara. She’s fine now. But. What was I thinking? Why do we do it to ourselves and people we love? Am I mending me while mending her?

For adoption

Tara the ginger tabby and Murphy the Russian blue are available for adoption in the online shop

Reuben the grey tabby and Rhonda the tortie cat will be available as soon as I’ve written their stories, some time this week. 

More beakies looking for a home. Adopt in the shop.


I made crackers by mixing chickpea flour and soy milk into a facial mask like substance, smeared it flat on the pan with wet fingers, sprinkled with sesame and coarse pink salt. I munched them mindlessly watching mynah birds expanding their territory by the swimming pool. 

I used to shudder at the thought of making bread, because of the gooey dough, like this cracker’s. I think I’ve officially overcome the fear while learning to make chapati. Instead of adding liquid to flour, one is advised to add flour to liquid. Going from a puddle to a ball is a more visible goal. 

It’s 8.50 at night. I’m gonna lie down on my side and read until either arm drops off. marn

To keep doing what I do, I need your support. Please do so by sharing my work, adopt a beakie, and click the little heart here.