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28 October 2010


My Rock

One of my oldest possessions is my rock - a roughly rectangular-shaped piece of quartz with a few pink granite chunks in it - which I picked up, on a family mushrooming jaunt, at what had once been a house but had become just an abandoned foundation, barely there at all. Old sites of houses are interesting as the foundations and plantings remain long after the house is gone. Anyway, I was about five, and I well remember finding my rock and what I thought ("It looks like a brick."). It's not a tiny thing so I must've had a degree of determination to walk all the way back with it, and then keep it close to me forever afterwards. It used to sit next to my easel and has a splash of sky paint on it. Sometimes I lie with it on my chest. It was on the half-moon table in the hall until six months or so ago, when it was moved to my bedside table.

I used to feel slightly guilty for moving it from its home until one day I realised its Ontario home is paved and built over now. I, like everyone else, used to collect rocks, however my rock was never mixed up with those. I used to like knapping flints and picked up some suitable pieces whilst driving across country, and I may even still have a few - but those never were meaningful in the way my rock is meaningful. I've had my rock next to me for 52 years. That's... probably some indication of how odd I am.

However, in all those millions of times I sat with my rock, thought about it, even kissed it, I never noticed until just now that it perfectly (but roughly) fits my left hand, with even a place for my thumb. Held that way the bottom is flat, which makes me wonder if it was a hastily contrived tool for - I don't know, creasing mats or pulverising seeds or something. It makes me feel now like it was a rock version of a domesticated dog that wagged its tail and followed me home because it was people-oriented and wasn't happy abandoned.

A couple of decades ago I wanted to do a book wherein people showed off the possession they'd had the longest. I used to ask people about it all the time, but there was no good way to do it then. But now - it could be a blog if anyone else is interested in telling their tales. And not to be rigid- often the most meaningful thing isn't the longest held, so there's leeway and only each person knows the special object that should be included.

So - what would you write about?

posted by - 9:27 PM

I'll have to think about this long and hard mate - I simply can't think of anything right now as I don't have that kind of relationship with objects... curious, I feel as though there is a part of my mind missing or not working.
Do it! It would make a great blog/book. I will try to think about my oldest thing.
As I have posted on my blog, my oldest possession is the paper Christmas tree ornament given to me by my maternal grandmother.

However, my second-oldest possession is a copy of Little Women, a cheap one, with brittle, yellowed pages and a torn cover. I loved to read it over and over again. Not only that, I have seen all the various movie versions of the book (most more than once, and yes, I prefer the oldest one, with Katherine Hepburn as Jo), and I have read most of Louisa May Alcott's other books.

This is becoming quite a cumbersome comment, so I will end it here, but I have other memories of possessions ... about which I will perhaps post on my own blob.
I have some *very* old things locked away or in the hands of trusted friends. One of my favourites is an edition of Guillim's Heraldry, printed in 1638, my only remaining book from my Uncle Adraste's shop, like me the survivor of fires, floods and countless moves. The boards are beginning to fall off, and the leather is thin and flaking away (that describes me as well), but it still smells as wonderful as when I first picked it up.
Ah, Young :-D I'm slowly poking a blog into being for this purpose. I would like it if everyone so interested would write a post and send me it, with a picture if possible - and I'll put it up in due time with appropriate credit.

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