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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Objects are magic.

IIn reading The Syntax of Objects by Tim McCreight, I have been brought to tears more than once.  Admitting that seems to prove Tim's thoughts and statements about objects from Chapter 32...
"Who thinks objects are magic, raise your hand.  Do you need convincing?"
Here is why I raised my hand. Guilty.
"Or think of the rediscovered toy.  You hadn't thought of it for years then see it at a flea market.  What is it?  A board game, or a doll, or a cap pistols in tan-colored plastic holsters?  A child-size kitchen, or a rubber sword, or a sheet metal dump truck, or a potholder loom?  You buy it, of course.  It is an artifact of historical dimensions.  It is COMFORT in a changing world, a familiar face seen across a room crowded with strangers, suddenly precious to you.  Of course you bought it, and you cannot explain why."
Why Mr. McCreight,  you have nailed it right on the head for me - for most of us I think.  My grandmother did this.  When I was in high school I thought that it was silly.  She would frequently come home from a visit to the antique store with something that one of her grandmothers had when she was a little girl.  Once, it was a set of aluminum measuring cups.  They were dinted in places and had lost their sheen.  She was so excited to show them to me.  She said, "Look what I found! Mammie had these when I was a little girl."  I didn't get it.  "So what? I thought." 
Please forgive me, Gran.  I get it now.  Approximately 5 years later, I stumbled across a set of the same aluminum measuring cups at a yard sale and guess what?  I bought them.  25 cents.  You can't beat that with a stick. In the end it doesn't matter how much they cost though.  They are special.  Irreplaceable.  They have a story in them that I know.  My Gran used them and now I know my Mammie, my great-great grandmother who I never met did as well.  WOW!  Well now I use them.  5 generations used the same style measuring cups. Cool.
Maybe I got an extra dose of sentiment in my genes, but this just moves me.  It takes me back to a time in life that was so special.  Not that now isn't.  IT IS!  Then was just different.  I don't know how to articulate it yet, but I long for that time back.  I could just cry.  I smell smells of then.  I feel my Grandmommy's sheets on my legs after a long day of work in the yard and a refreshing bath. 
Can I make my work be about this?  That's what I am striving for.  I want to capture this feeling.  Of course no one gives a rat's tail about my Gran or Mammie that I never met, but you have a Gran and a Mammie and I bet you feel the way about yours just as I do mine.  It's universal you see.  In the end, all I have is my story to articulate this feeling.  I know it best.  Since I do know my story best, I could probably express this feeling in the most powerful and sincere way if I use mine.  So I will...