Wednesday, January 06, 2010

More Things to Ponder

As I continue to deal with the things of a lifetime, this poem in the current New Yorker caught my eye:

The Things by Donald Hall

When I walk in my house I see pictures,
bought long ago, framed and hanging,
-- de Kooning, Arp, Laurencin, Henry Moore --
that I’ve cherished and stared at for years,
yet my eyes keep returning to the masters
of the trivial:  a white stone perfectly round,
tiny lead models of baseball players, a cowbell,
a broken great-grandmother’s rocker,
a dead dog’s toy -- valueless, unforgettable
detritus that my children will throw away
as I did my mother’s souvenirs of trips
with my dead father, Kodaks of kittens,
and bundles of cards from her mother Kate.

(Artwork done by my daughter using the pointe shoes she once wore that now hang quite still from her bedroom ceiling.)


Anonymous lr said...

True, it is the most personal things that we treasure most, though what sorts of things they are depend on the individual. How fitting that you included your daughter's art and the very shoes.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

With the new year I am just trying to clean up my old things, stored in drawers and on shelves. But I find it so hard to throw them away. With me it`s mostly written things, old letters, my own diaries, poems that meant something to me, but also CDs and tape cassettes, or photos, or gifts I got from friends...two wooden candle holders that my American Uncle made for me, a sea shell I found. But who says I must throw them away if they still have a meaning to me?

4:56 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

our memories make treasures of ordinary objects...

4:58 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

We all own things we treasure. For me, the key to being able to clean things out is to remind myself that the item is NOT the memory. I don't need the thing to remember the person or event, you know?

That's an interesting poem, though it seems to end rather abruptly!

9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So touching to see your daughter's artwork and shoes! Has she held on to her own artwork?

My memory is very triggered by tangible things, which is one of the reasons I've had a hard time letting go of things. I remember so much more if I can see a photo, touch a memento, handle a card someone sent me, etc. Not sure how to reconcile that with the desire to lighten my load! :-) You're setting a great example.


1:15 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

Do you know the song "Dancing Shoes" by Dan Fogelberg.

Pondering is such a wonderful pastime.

8:53 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

You never know what it is that will mean something in the long run, the things that will forever identify something or someone for you. They mean so much more than expensive artwork.

10:49 AM  

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