Friday, December 24, 2010

This Homely Object...

This homely object is simply a can, with the safety edge removed (so it has a sharp edge) and with holes poked in the bottom/top. It's a simple and effective chopper. I use it several times a week when I want to chop or chop and mix things like nuts or fruit.

It was made by my Grandfather for my Grandmother, I don't know how long ago. I'm sure neither of them thought of it as a precious object, and I imagine it was just one in a series of similar objects he made for her in a long marriage. For me, though, it has great value. When I use it, I always think of Grandpa and Grandma and their home. I have very little family stuff - I've always lived too far away to benefit from house clearouts and handouts and that might make this more precious to me.

But I think what really makes it precious is that it connects me in my small daily tasks with my grandparents in their daily life. It contains a resonance of their long knowlege of each other through many years. It's the kind of little useful thing that partners do for each other. And, by extension, it connects me with a long line of ancestors going about their ordinary, daily tasks back into the distant past.

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