The Long Way Home


Object Lesson
February 25, 2013, 6:47 PM
Filed under: Pennsylvania | Tags: , ,
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l. wedding gift c. felt steak dinner-a gift from bill r.items from the fridge

As a collector and a writer, I trace the stories in the objects that others leave behind, and never have the stories been more clear to me than when my mother died. Her letters and photos, more than any of the objects (the nesting dolls, the music boxes, clocks and icons) , mean a lot to me; I’m careful, though, to not attach meaning to everything she left (empty deodorant bottles in her medicine cabinet, for instance, were more a testament to her housekeeping skills than any sentimental reasons). I wonder what will happen to my stuff when I’m gone? I used to save all my letters, and years ago, I threw them away – seven bags full of correspondence from my college years. My heart kind of crushes when I think about that. Lesson learned, and now I save handwritten-letters and emails via inbox folders (if any of you reading have sent me a thoughtful, funny or insightful email in the past 10 years, I still have it). Part of my photo-a-day project involves documenting items around our house by photographing them in our studio window (which Sarah calls “magic window” because the incredible natural light makes everything beautiful).

from top left: 1950s phone. necklace from jeff in honor of my surname. cookbooks to read before bedtime. virgin statues.

from top left: 1950s phone. necklace from jeff in honor of my surname. i read cookbooks more than i cook from them. saints and virgin statues from my travels.

from top left: our wedding cake topper. gypsy witch cards have amazing artwork. bubble-gum machine monster from jeff. mask wedding gift.

from top left: our wedding cake topper. gypsy witch cards have amazing artwork. bubble-gum machine monster from jeff. mask wedding gift.

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10 Comments so far
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Well I agree with Joanna’s comment about your writing: your talent just comes out. What a great post, love the objects and the magic window.

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Comment by Michael Williamson

thanks, michael, you’re incredibly sweet! i have more of these photos for the future that i’m excited about sharing.

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Comment by Lisa

I absolutely love everything you write.

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Comment by Joanna

aw, joanna – you made my day! thanks for commenting too, i always love reading them –

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Comment by Lisa

Great photos!!! I love our magic window!

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Comment by Jeff

I love it too – think of all the photos we’ve taken in that one tiny space.

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Comment by Lisa

What a wonderful project Lisa. Keep it up. I want to see more and more! (Left reply on my blog to your comment today. I put my email address in it but will remove it once I hear from you)

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Comment by Photobooth Journal

thanks, katherine, i will! i’ve been photographing things each day since december. at the end of each month, i think i’ll take a break, but then i keep going : ). (also, i have your email, you can remove the one from your blog, thank you!)

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Comment by Lisa

These pics are so lovely. It really is amazing all the stuff we hold on to in our lifetimes. I think letting go of old letters is very tough. I also wonder who will sort through my digital footprint. It is also amazing to think that my son wont have much by the way of handwritten letters. I do put post-its in his lunch box everyday. Hopefully he holds onto them. Another great thought provoking post, my friend.

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Comment by motherblue212

Instead of boxes of letters we’ll leave behind tiny slips of paper with all our passwords! I still keep paper journals because I just love paper so much – the smell and texture (even though most people can’t read my handwriting, it’s really awful). I think it’s so sweet that you leave post-its for Jack. He already recognizes the importance of them – and hopefully it’s something he passes on to his own children someday (if post-its continue to be in production by then!).

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Comment by Lisa




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