The Talisman and the Tool

Weekends are filled with errands — that’s normal. But this weekend, I had a less-than-normal mission on my to-do list.

“Find totem,” the item read. That’s because, to activate an alter ego, many performers and athletes use a totem that they wear or carry. In Prince’s case, it seemed he had a lot of totems over the years. You could argue that when he zipped up on his four-inch heeled, pointy-toed booties, that was a totem that turned him into “Prince.” Or perhaps it was his guitar. But I also tend to think that a cane, and sometimes a wand, was one of his key totems. And he used a cane throughout his career, from the glitter cane he played with during the Lovesexy tour, to the silver cane he carried in the last years of his life.

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Here’s Prince with the silver cane, in 2014 at the Paris Open.

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Here he is in the 90s.

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At the Grammys in 2015.

However tempting it was to consider striding around Chanhassen with a glitter cane or waving it out the car window at interlopers in the school pick-up line, I decided a ring would be the best totem. It’s easy to slip on to become Aurora, and slip off to be me again, and easy to keep in a pocket. When I found this one at the mall, I knew it was the one. It reminded me of a third eye ring that Prince wore in a portrait that hangs in Studio B at Paisley Park.

And next, because I’ve had a fountain pen for decades and only recently got some new ink for it, I decided that Aurora should have this fountain pen as her tool — just as Prince had his guitar.

With Aurora’s personality set, her totems at the ready, I’m ready to take her out for a spin in the world this week.

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