Objects and stories

I’ve been occupied with many things lately that take me away from blogging and even from poetry. I have been re-reading Hard Times which seems, suddenly, relevant and appropriate to life. I deeply value my world of the imagination, which is not bi-modal, black-and-white, straight facts, simple storyline, no diversions. It is rich and complex and worthy of exploration. It is mysterious and loving and paradoxical, a puzzle and a joyful muddle and a pool of sorrows. It loves to divulge and elaborate and dwells in velvety ambiguities.

I post herein a quote not from Dickens, however, but from Edmund deWaal’s book The Hare with Amber Eyes–in hopes that it will jog my memory for a further post on this topic eventually.

“It is not just things that carry stories with them. Stories are a kind of thing, too. Stories and objects share something, a patina….perhaps patina is a process of rubbing back so that the essential is revealed, the way that a striated stone tumbled in a river feels irreducible, the way that this netsuke of a fox has become more than a memory of a nose and a tail. But it also seems additive, in the way that a piece of oak furniture gains over years and years of polishing…

You take an object from your pocket and put it down in front of you and you start. You begin to tell a story.”

ipomoea

Or something that is not in your pocket. Something you may see along the road, on a path in a park or forest, reflected in a window. The story, perhaps, of a story you thought you knew well–one your father told you, which his father told him, and to which there is truth but also layers and about which you may be able to weave another tale.

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2 comments on “Objects and stories

  1. […] a previous post, I quoted Edmund de Waal about the stories that objects can “tell” us. In his book, […]

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  2. […] The Hare with Amber Eyes. Several months ago I promised myself I’d get back to the topic of objects and their stories, but it has taken me awhile to resume my meditations on the subject. As a child, I loved wandering […]

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