Saturday, November 28, 2015

Open Letter to Random Decorative Dried Bean Parfait Sculpture That I Made for No Apparent Reason

Dear Random Decorative Dried Bean Parfait Sculpture That I Made for No Apparent Reason,

What are you? And where did you come from? More importantly, what possessed me to make you? For make you I did; long, long ago. That much I know.

Beyond that, it's all a blur.

I have a vague memory that the idea for you came from a book about crafts using found objects from your cupboard. Sorry, but that's pretty much all I've got as far as your origins are concerned.

Your top layers have sort of been ruined due to jostling it seems, and your colors have faded; but something made me keep you around all these years. Or more accurately, something made my parents keep you around, since I haven't lived in this apartment for 21 years and surely you're even older than that.

I imagine most people have things like you tucked away or inconspicuously displayed in a forgotten corner somewhere. Things of little sentimental (and even less economic) value, but that are nonetheless compelling.


Maybe because in the end, it's mundane garbage like you that becomes the unexpected and unsung keeper of our memories. Not the big, grand memories, of course--like the graduations, weddings, and sports victories whose commemorative objects feature so proudly and visibly in life.

No, I'm talking more about those objects that reflect the people we were and the things we did in the interstitial spaces between those celebrated punctuation marks in life's narrative. The hideous ashtray that we made at summer camp, or the sticker of a unicorn that we stuck to our bedroom window, its ancient adhesive still clinging to the glass out of habit. The things that don't represent or remind us of anything special, except who we were and what we did on an ordinary day a long time ago.

I guess that's what you are, Random Decorative Dried Bean Parfait Sculpture I Made for No Apparent Reason.

And I guess that's why you're still around.

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