Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Story Behind the Object

Every object has a story.

The piano was bought at Costco; we were young, pregnant, still studying and working crazy hours at BYU. We needed something inexpensive --the clavichord was the way to go. We wouldn't have to tune it, it had headphones so we wouldn't bother our neighbors on the other side of our wall, I could practice the organ on the "organ" setting. Kind of. It's been used and moved countless times over the last 12 years. Damage to the bottom worries me, but hope fills my heart --maybe we'll get a "real" piano someday, after all?

On the piano sits a clock, a gold one, domed in glass. It was given to us for our wedding by my high school choir teacher. Next to the clock are two white candlesticks, painted with a gold etched musical score from some bygone Baroque or Classical period. My friend bought me those candlesticks for Christmas one year --sent them from her home back east. I look at them now and cry a little inside, because she won't speak to me anymore. This same friend had convinced me to buy the large print of Christ, which sits on the other side of the piano. He is surrounded by children, and my friend had told me that the girl looking up into his face reminded her so much of my second daughter. She was right.

Above the piano on the wall are three frames. The first has The Family, A Proclamation to the World in it --a copy we received when we married. The middle and largest frame is from a long ago Relief Society activity; small pictures of Christ frame a copy of The Living Christ. To the right is a signed copy of a Simon Dewey painting --Christ with a little girl holding a candle. It was given to me by my FIL's long-ago girlfriend. A woman who was in our lives for nearly five years... but is now gone, simply because relationships are complicated.

The wall on which these frames sit is painted "sauteed mushroom." I picked the color because I like dark, earthy tones. It was whimsical, the week I painted. I was tired of white walls, I was tired of the lack of change. No adventure was on the horizon, and so I went to Lowe's, I bought Earthenware and painted the kitchen wall to match my curtains (the curtains I received from my friend --my candlestick friend). I wasn't finished; I returned for the Sauteed Mushroom. I painted two coats in one afternoon. It's not perfect, but it contented my wandering soul for a time.

These objects are nice, in and of themselves --some are still hanging simply for that reason, regardless of the story behind it. But I find it more often than not, that the things we choose to display in our home have stories behind them. This particular painting of Christ. That saying etched in wood. That photo of the family in the woods.

What is in your living room? What is the story behind those objects?


Stephanie said...

A piano I bought with inheritance money from my grandparents. Since Grandma was VERY musical, and I'm sure I inherited a fair number of musical genes from her (through my father), it's a good way to remember her.

And I'm making a quilt to hang on the 15 ft tall wall that everyone looks at when they walk in, then ask me when I'm going to hang something on it. Be patient people! Good quilts take time.

I often wish I could have had my children when I was eighteen. Not because I really wanted to be married and pregnant then, but because my 18 year old body would have handled lack of sleep and pregnancy much better than my 33 yr old body.

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

I'm catching up on posts that I missed during our move and lack of internet...I just wanted to say I love this post. :)