Sunday, April 23, 2006

Beautiful Sunday 4.23

I knew the woman that owned this cup. She was a woman with a great sense of style and appreciation for color, design, and unusual shapes. She held this cup gently when she needed a cup of comfort tea. I can see the worn marks on the gold handle where she did so. She always washed this special cup by hand. I knew this woman well. She collected objects she loved, stored them, cared of them. Took them out to use and admire them.

I saw most of her belongings strewn around Goodwill yesterday. First I had found a Japanese box of wonderful square sushi plates. They were expensive so I passed on them. Then I saw many Japanese cookie tins, then some other plates and collectibles. I started to recognize each object stashed on the shelf that was hers. I mourned her and celebrated her taste and sense of style at the same time. Then I saw this cup and I was not in the business of buying cups yesterday. It was precious, and the gold handle was gently worn. I was there for some time imagining this woman. Trying to talk myself out of buying this. And decided that I would take it home, in her honor and use it for my comfort tea.

This often happens at the Goodwill. I see many things that obviously belonged to one person, and once I see the connection I can see that person all over the store. You can just tell, feel it. It makes me so sad that I can hardly carry on or not cry in the aisle. I wonder where their families are. I hope they at least kept the good stuff and this was just their rejects. Did they not appreciate anything their mom, sister, (?) had, or did she not have any family left. Of course, there is the possibility that one person was just getting rid of everything, to move to a nursing home? Anyway, it always affects me in the most emotional way. This cup is my Beautiful Sunday object in tribute to collectors of wonderful stuff everywhere!

flower cup

13 comments:

Melissa said...

It is beautiful.. Your Goodwill sounds much more interesting than mine..

DesignGal said...

That story is very moving, I was a bit teary eyed reading it. I have not experienced something like this, it is great that you did purchase this gorgeous cup...at least you did care enough to honor her by buying this beautiful cup. :)

mbc said...

That's a beautiful cup. Sometimes I see things at the thrift store or flea market that call out to me and I have to "rescue" them and take them home.

LouAnne said...

Hi! I think that's a marvelous cup. I often see things like this at garage sales or in thrift shops and wonder how it lost it's person who loved it. Often the items come home with me and, unless one of my daughters falls in love with it, as often happens, it will end up in a strangers hands looking for love again.

Ulla said...

I know just how you feel, so sad that such a beautiful object couldn't become a family heirloom... and yet now it will have more value - because YOU found it!

Abby Anderson said...

Ah, that's beautiful! You'll have to show me next time I come to visit.

There's this website I came across the other day that I thought I'd show you. I don't know if you've seen it before, but it's about the children of Uganda who spend their lives running away from soldiers so as not to become them themselves. They're making a movie on it and they have several different ways to donate and help, and I really enjoyed seeing a website like this. Hope you will too! Here it is:

http://www.invisiblechildren.com/

-Abby

phlegmfatale said...

I have often felt that very connection between otherwise random things I've found at Goodwill. I think we honor the careful stewardship of the previous owner by finding their possessions precious and taking them home to incorporate into our own restorative domestic rites.

Barb said...

I think objects CAN speak to us and that we are meant to pick them up, see their true value and take them home to continue their legacy. Sometimes I'm convinced that rejected and dejected things choose us as much as we choose them. Enjoy every sip in this special cup! And please put a tissue warning when you write such moving words again...

Nan said...

Great story. I have had similar thoughts wandering through antique stores, wondering about the people who decided to discard objects obviously once cherished. I especially mourn the old photo albums and pictures, so personal. I wonder how a person could let go of a framed photo of grandmother as a teenager! It's wonderful that you knew this person and could take home this beautiful cup in memory of her. Thanks for sharing the story. Love the cup, too!

weirdbunny said...

I think you can definately tell when a lot of stuff from one person is at the charity shop. Especially costume jewlerry, like little cut glass broaches, and embrodiery tableclothes.

Kim Carney said...

Thanks guys, for reinforcing that I am NOT a lunatic. Things do speak to me at thrift stores, my house is full of those things. And Nan, I am so glad you broght up the photo album issue. I blogged about this last year
http://littlesomethings.blogspot.com/2005/01/look-at-them.html
I can not see a photo album all cut up when someone has so thoughtfully documented their lives.
I will treasure the cup (until my son hauls it off to the Goodwill with the rest of my belongings ;)

kelly rae said...

it's the stories, their lives, thier story that make everything in this life meaningful. you are so cool for seeing that and honoring it!

liz elayne said...

oh this story touches me deeply my friend. i am so glad you shared it. and this cup is beautiful...you will honor many as you drink from it (that sounded a bit like a fortune from a fortune cookie I think, but it came to me and I think it is true).