Sunday, January 9, 2011


I am very fond of old wood (particularly doors), iron (the rustier the better), and glass (wavy). There is beauty in their battered surfaces, charm in their cracks, and nobility in their Wabi-sabi stance. To find any of these things in combination is even more fantastic; some of you know from painful experience that I suffered one such infatuation last year when I discovered antique hames made from iron and wood and forced them on people during the Winter  Holidays, as gifts.

My affinity for the aesthetic of such things might be explained thusly: I will nearly always prefer a visit to The Island of Misfit Toys rather than a visit to Toys 'R Us.  The toys from The Island have personality and character and interesting gossip and stories to tell about their lives; toys from Toys 'R Us are too bright and plastic-y and smell like vinyl and having nothing to say for themselves.  As an aside, I found this description of one of the Misfit Toys to be especially poignant:
"A Dolly for Sue" (as she calls herself) is a seemingly normal girl rag doll with red hair and a red gingham (checkered) dress. Her misfit problem is never explained on the special, but was possibly revealed on NPR's Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me! news quiz show (broadcast December 8, 2007). The show revealed that Rudolph's producer, Arthur Rankin Jr., says Dolly's problem was psychological, caused from being abandoned by her mistress and suffering depression from feeling unloved..."
Poor, poor Dolly! The battered, the cracked, and the crooked appeal to my fondness for the underdog and my unwillingness to abandon old and imperfect things. 

Amid the excitement of putting in the storm window in the upstairs bathroom, a small decorative picture that had belonged to my Grandmother Brennan was knocked off a small decorative shelf and out the window, landing on the bulkhead door two floors down. That excitement was nothing compared to what was generated by the storm window slowly sliding away from the sink where it was propped and crashing to the floor, breaking a pane in the process, that happened a second later, but that's another story (and you wondered why I learned to re-glaze windows).

I began setting the wreckage to rights while Raj disappeared downstairs, returning a few moments later with the picture that had gone out the window. The picture itself was fine as was the lovely little tin frame; the glass was smashed into pointy shards still contained within the structure of the frame (Vortex, anyone?).  I thanked him, and put the picture on top of the dresser in the bathroom to await repairs.

A few days later I propped the picture up against the box of tissue on top of the dresser just below the lovely old carved and cracked mirror friends gave me last year. 

A few days after that Raj told me he thought the picture looked rather interesting, all cracked and whatnot; maybe there is a fixative we could spray over it  to keep the glass shards in place?  A day or so after that, I took the picture from the top of the dresser and put it back up on the little decorative shelf where it has been ever since, and where it will stay. It will be all fun and games until someone gets cut...