Thanks again to my friend, Julie Larios, for all of the many new perspectives she’s brought to me, including bringing Evocative Objects: Things We Think With (ed. Sherry Turkle) to my attention. There’s a lovely essay in this book on knot-tying, to which I alerted Susan Patron, given that her character Lincoln is never without a piece of string in his hand.
The assorted essays in this book touch on objects ranging from ballet slippers to glucometers to radios to a 1964 Ford Falcon. No matter how ridiculous (slime mold?) or sublime (the stars), the subject of each essay transported me.
And I began to think about things. Tonight we had dinner with our friends, Bill and Marla, and said she has always coveted the avocado green Bauer pitcher in my kitchen (from my mother-in-law).
I have always admired the few exquistely charming pieces of Candlewick glassware Marla owns. My friend, Karen, has an incredible map of the world in her back hall, pricked with multi-colored round-headed pins marking the places her peripatetic sons have visited. On my desk, sits a leather wrapped container holding a few of my beloved grandmother’s paintbrushes.
I confess my failures: I have never read Proust. But I understand a mere cookie drove him to spin an entire novel. And I wonder: what are the objects that turn loose your memories, that foster your stories?
And, perhaps more importantly, what are the objects that stir your characters to action?
I’d love to know!