• Posted on October 27, 2012 at 5:06 pm

It just occurred to me since I completed rearranging all that emerged from cardboard boxes, that there is significance in what came with me here, what did not, and how I arranged it. The one piece of furniture left in this place was a shelf unit with glazed sections. Not my cup of tea quite, I thought. I have no family silver, trophies or cut glass to be illuminated from above, through the glass shelves with an air of prestige. Then I started to put things together that I had brought. What deserved display, to be seen, even picked up and examined? What memories are held, that matter most? Or that don’t just upset me by association?

There is a pair of finely detailed soapstone bears from Canada: a business trip when my children were small.

There is a tourist-best but rather nice little ‘Minoan’ pottery jar from the only girlfriend I loved but had to walk away from a very long time ago.

There are Chinese palm-massage balls, beautifully enameled that chime when you roll them in your hand. Common, but beautiful.

There is a chunk of null stone that belonged to my grandmother and has been everywhere with me as long as I can remember. It is flanked by two other geode slices that I love for their mystery: random, accidental, beauty, formed in complete isolation, that would have been hidden forever if someone hadn’t dared to crack an ugly rock open. Yes, that resonates with me.

There is an amazing, curious, little musical puppet, next to a relief picture in painted balsa wood of the Cutty Sark, handmade gifts from my son: one recent, one from Fathers Day ten years ago. I love his creativity that has always been there, and I hope his quirkiness (said with love) finds him his niche in this world.

There is a vertical sequence of four bowls that start with a wedding gift and pass through a recent raffle prize of gilded glass to fibre; all offering and receiving openly, and beautiful in their simplicity.

There is some miniature pottery that I can’t remember the provenance for, except they attracted my attention on a holiday once in our early days.

There is my last Fathers Day card from my daughter in 2011, with a message that I misinterpreted as her perhaps seeing the gentler side of me urging to come out. I think of it as her last real communication with me, and it came with a hug.

And there are fossils. I like fossils; they are life saying ‘I changed this world in my small way, forever. I was alive and amazing once.’ Fossils and geodes give perspective that everything is transient but we can leave out mark for those who want to see.

And there are silver candlesticks. Two that intertwine. One was a Christmas gift from my wife. The other (not shown) intertwines with it, and I bought it to make an elegant, beautiful pair.

No. There are no photographs.

My son is a grown man, and his graduation pictures are my best of him and me together, and on Facebook. My daughter is a grown woman; does she want to be associated with me ever again? She is beautiful; but there will never be pictures of us together. There is no marriage. Love is a fossil, the beauty enclosed in stone. I never stopped loving, but I don’t want to be reminded that once I was deeply wanted and now I am not at all.

The man who collected all these things together for me? He will never appear. There is one photo of me, at a dance with a very dear friend on her recent 50th birthday. Without outshining her (as if!) we look lovely.

Oh; the flowers? Aren’t they beautiful? They made me feel special. From a man.

And there in the foreground (you can click the pic) are my shoes, kicked off for dancing.

My room, my content.

dancing shoes


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