Friday, May 23, 2008

Stuff- why is it collectible?
I collect lots of "stuff" and obviously so did my aunt. This past week as Mom & I sorted through not only my aunt's life-as represented by her "stuff" - we sorted through my grandparents "stuff".My grandparents "stuff" has remained in the house until now as well.
Aunt Mary had lived in Houston until retirement,then at a luxury lake house in Texas and finally,after being widowed in 1982 she moved to her childhood home with my grandmother.
The same house my mom,now 70, was born in. It's the place that has held my heart for all my life.
My family moved around a bit but this place was always the same- I KNEW it would be there when I wanted or needed it to be.
And now, here we were digging through things that I never would have touched, out of respect for privacy of my aunt & Gparents-I wondered about so many things.
As we dug I wondered,"Why did she buy this?- What was this little keepsake a reminder of?
And WHY in the world would anyone have so many stemmed crystal glasses????????
A couple of dealers came to look and were thrilled to look and buy-and we were thrilled to show and sell it to them!But I had to wonder why it was so easy to sell expensive crystal , yet not be able to bear parting with little things .
So what makes "stuff" collectible?
The name stamped somewhere on the bottom or a label?
Not for me- the value was directly linked to a memory of the item in it's very own context.
The little green shoe that sat unmoved on the blue built-in bookcase for all my life.
I looked at it from 2 feet tall until I was 14 and old enough to pick it up and look at it before carefully placing it back in it's dust outlined spot on the the shelf. It BELONGED there- and I was glad to know that it would always belong there.
It meant something that cant be explained.
It just went there and I always knew it would be there.
Now it's here and it longs to be on the blue shelf- but like many other things- the blue shelf is gone- sometime in the 70's the house was remodeled.
I dont know where the green shoe has been since that time, but now it is safe with me and I remember the blue shelf and the spot where it belonged ~so it is safe here.
The green shoe and I remember lots of things- we had our spots in the old house and so did many ,many other things.
Some of those things have a name stamped on them that make others want them- but many, like the green shoe are just pieces of glass or pottery that people look at and turn upside down looking for signs of value and all the while miss the true value of the item.
Value cant be measured in marks and stamps- ithe green shoe is precious to me because it has a spot that can never be filled again. It has a mark in my mind and heart that it belonged and so did I- and now here we are again- together and remembering.
I think we'll take care of each other now ~I'll find a special place here for the green shoe to belong- and one day maybe my grandkids will remember the green shoe and it's place and their's as fondly as I remember my grandmother'sand my place there.


Lacey said...

What a beautiful story. You brought us all into your precious moment. Now I will want to cry every tiem I see the little green shoe!