I am very fond of objects.

A still life containing old books, a pipe, a circular bottle, tarot cards, and a small metal box.

I do not like drawing still lives, but I can appreciate the value of the exercise. I also appreciate objects. My bedroom is a careful collection of Things, tastefully placed so as not to feel messy. I want the room to breath that a clean space provides, but I also delight in the clutter. Recently my great-grandmother passed away, and I have been relentlessly questioned by family members asking "do you want such and such thing from Granny's house?" I nearly always say yes. Objects house memories, little lives of their own that intersect with ours.

That's why I love old things. I loved old papers and books in particularly because it is so easy to imagine the hands that once held them, so so long ago. I love old prints, because anyone could have had them. But for that flimsy paper to have survived a hundred years or more, it must have been appreciated and cared for. What other fingertips passed carefully over the pages?

In this case it was mostly the fingertips of my relatives, although I don't recognize any of the names scrawled in the old grammar textbooks I nabbed from my Granny's shelves. These books were not well cared for. They are signed with weird drawings, school notes, and maudlin poetry about a crush someone had in the early 1900s. I love that shit.

The pipe was my great-grandfather's, who I think I called Papa but it's been so long that I don't remember very well. He had a bag entirely full of pipes that was shoved in the back of the top shelf of my Granny's closet. I only took one, the one I liked the shape of the most. It was sleek but still old-fashioned looking, and it only lacks in that it it doesn't smell as much like tobacco as I wish it did. I think the smell is actually just dust, but I try to imagine the sent of tobacco still lingers a bit. I don't think he still smoked when I knew him, at least not after the stroke, but my grandma and her sister seem to remember his smoking so well.

I'm waxing poetic, but I actually just grabbed these objects at random, finding whatever I could in my room that might look interesting together. The tarot cards are inaccurate depictions of Sam Guay's blood moon tarot deck (the King of Dreams and the Ace of Honey in particular). And the bottle used to contain lavender syrup that a friend made for my birthday 2 or 3 years ago. I'm pretty sure the little metal box is from a cheap antique store that I stopped in on a drive back from a cabin weekend in West Virginia, but I'm not really sure. It might have been a different antique store. But I think it was that one. I keep my favorite rings in there. My very favorites are all from the renaissance festival, and I tossed the vampire teeth I bought last halloween in there too.

I didn't want to draw it, in favor of a more simple composition, but I posed all of the objects on a chair I inherited from my senior year roommate, with pale wood (i looks like it was painted white ages ago and has half rubbed off now). It's uncomfortable to sit in, but I love the way it looks. Over the back of the chair I've tossed a small quilted bedrunner that I made one summer during a week-long sewing class in Amelia Island, FL. A friend of mine was attending and wanted a friend, so she invited me and we took it together. I'm actually pretty proud of it. But it wouldn't have fit the mood of the still life at all, not even a little bit. The biggest panel on the quilt is a bunch of bunnies frolicking in a field of wildflowers. Totally the wrong mood.