“Caring too much for objects can destroy you. Only—if you care for a thing enough, it takes on a life of its own, doesn’t it? And isn’t the whole point of things—beautiful things—that they connect you to some larger beauty? Those first images that crack your heart wide open and you spend the rest of your life chasing, or trying to recapture, in one way or another” -James “Hobie” Hobart, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Anyone who knows me and by extension my family, knows our love of object. Our house is full of stuff. Artwork, furniture, knick knacks, bric-a-brac filling walls, crowding surfaces.
I like collecting things. My husband likes collecting things. My oldest daughter likes collecting things and I’m sure this desire will soon be apparent in my youngest daughter. Frequenting flea markets and antiques shops has long been a pass time in our household. Found objects on hikes have recently taken a front seat to our collection.
We collect but we don’t stow it away. We find one last corner on the side table to proudly display our latest find. We add another piece above the last treasure on the wall, salon-style, so that when we turn the corner to go up the stairs we can see it and enjoy it if only in the fleeting moment it takes us to go from one step to the other.
My husband and I will occasionally fawn over a minimalist mid-century modern interior in some fancy design magazine. We flirt with the idea of paring down our collection but then we hit the road in search of some antique shop we haven’t frequented in a while and find one more thing to add to our home.
A cleared surface may bring order but I think living with objects around you provokes inspiration far better than an empty space. I happily look in on my daughters’ room and see walls covered, bookshelves crammed. There are never enough books to own or knick knacks to look at—I’d like to think my daughters are inspired to create, play, and imagine amongst it all.
My family and I are like magpies—always on the hunt for the next shiny object to add to our collection. Our home will never be minimalist, never sparse, never empty.
I live with a lot of stuff and I won’t soon relinquish my desire to keep it, display it, love it. There is great beauty in this world and I’d like to think my love of object puts that beauty within my grasp.