And then there were three (remaining). Can we really be at the end of the year already? The problem or perhaps the benefit of doing a year-long series is that you are acutely aware of the passing of time. Once a week for an entire year I deliberately stopped my busy, hectic life and reflected on my own reality through the lens of my objects. Being present for those few moments allowed me to be grateful for all the small, wonderful intangible things that often get overlooked in the middle of the traffic of my life. And so, I am grateful to this series and to all of you and your kind and thoughtful comments for allowing me to do that.
Here is object number fifty.
I don't read Real Simple magazine on a monthly basis but every now and then I pick it up. I noticed in the November issue that they had a feature called, Sometimes an Object is Just an Object...And Sometimes it's so Much More. They asked five writers to describe the sentimental value of an everyday object they cherished. Not unlike, what I have been doing here for the past 11 months or so. They even numbered them! My favourite story came from writer, Anne Kreamer. She wrote about her anniversary pearls that were given to her by her husband on their 30th anniversary. The first thing he did for their anniversary was broadcast a love song he had commissioned for her on the public radio show he hosts (pretty special!) and then later, he presented her with a box with three numbers on the outside: 10 957, 30 and 1. Thirty was obviously for the number of years they had been together but she didn't understand the other two numbers until she opened the box. Inside was one beautiful, spherical vase filled with 30 full size pearls and 10, 957 miniature seed pearls representing the number of days they had been together. You must read the rest of the article to hear her describe the sentimental value of this present and to see the photograph of the pearls. The other four stories are also worth a read.
Here is my object number forty-seven...
A couple of weeks ago the New York Times ran an article on authenticity particularly how it applies to objects we purchase from Etsy and even places like Restoration Hardware and West Elm. It's an interesting read however I think it failed to really make a point about what it means for an object to be authentic. Give it a read and let me know what you think. However, the question of authenticity is an interesting one. What does it mean for an object to be authentic? Does an object hold more value if it can be qualified as authentic?
I'll tell you a quick story about one of my objects. Remember this Indian Temple Bell I wrote about last August. Well, I bought it from a vintage store on Queen East where it was labelled as "vintage" and from a "temple in India". I believed what the label said and purchased it. A few days later, I was shopping in HomeSense and what did I see row upon row of - you guessed "Indian temple bells". Clearly, there was nothing vintage or authentic about my temple bell. It's a mass produced item that is probably made in China. Ever since then, I've looked at my temple bell a little differently. I still keep it out on display but it will never make this list and it probably won't be something I rush to save if the house caught on fire.
I think one of the things I've noticed during this project is that the most important objects are ones that hold our personal memories and our individual and collective histories. I'm not saying that these attributes can't be applied to a purchased object (they can) but without an experience or memory tied to an object it simply becomes another thing that is easily discarded.
And with that, here is object number forty-five...