Thursday, August 31, 2006

Factual Friday: Simple Treasures

Yesterday I was able to look through some old things that an Anthropologist who worked in the building years ago had left behind. Most of the items clearly fell into the category of junk that the person didnt have the patience to parse. Tangled wires and power-strips, old notebooks, small containers of dried out pens, yellowing index cards with neat and wispy crusty handwriting on them.

But then there was a small, heavy box that contained about 60 glass slides from the early 1900’s. They were each packed individually and pristinely in an off white waxy paper sleeve, looking something like those After Eight mints. This person had done field work in the western united states and all of the craggy, rocky landscapes were shown before me in an incredible black and white range of eloquent romantic detail. The slides were beautiful and it was amazing to see such absorbing depth in two dimensions. They howled with a penetrating mystique, it was a shame to close the box back up and silence them again. Behind me stood a box full of folded anaconda and python skins, they were softer than I expected and displayed bold patterns in two alternating shades of a deep orangey brown. There was a spectacular and regal ostridge feather duster that was lovely to look at and probably worked well as a duster too, but I didnt try it.

Someone absolutely must miss these items. They wanted to speak. It’s nice to work in an old place, time makes things richer, even if someone thought it was junk years ago. Junk ripens.

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