The Family Business News
  • Objects and Memory
  • Kelley Shields
  • birth giftslabor and deliverylabor talismans
Objects and Memory

There is truth to the sayings about distance increasing fondness and true appreciation manifesting only once something is gone. That is part of the reason we collect things--they remind us of the moments we want to extend, to keep near. 

Brian cast the handles of Ite's first Maclaren stroller once her chariot years came to an end. As the FT caregiver he did the lion's share of the strolling and was sad on some level to see it come to a close; we both were. I recall the retirement moment of her stroller years with the contrasting feelings of delight at not having to fold-lug-transfer a heavily loaded throne on wheels up and down subway stairs any longer and a subtle but perceptible melancholy too, over the close of a childhood stage.

On my days off from work she, the stroller and me hit the sidewalks of the city early and returned late. I can still see her standing on the plastic strap beneath her feet, her chubby hands clutching the stroller side bars, looking like a human prow, beaming and bellowing 'Hello, my name is Ite!' to any and everybody, entreating the world at large to smile back.

Objects absorb the energy of their environment and they carry also the intentions and emotions transferred to them through use and exposure. The study of this science is called Psychometry, coined by Joseph Rodes Buchanan who believed that all things give off an emanation and that the radiance of objects can be read.

I treasure these bronze handles Brian created of that first stroller. I pick them up sometimes for the momentary transport back in time, recalling packing it for the day's adventure to Battery Park playground; picking it up a zillion times when it tipped backward from the weight; watching hopefully over his shoulder as Brian realigned front wheels mangled by a pothole; or peering down over the front of it while strolling, to find her snug and comfortably asleep. 

The Brooklyn Bambini figurines Brian makes provoke a similar response when I hold them. Originally designed as focus objects for labor, long after these talismans fulfilled their initial purpose they continue to serve me, proving the undeniable link between objects and memory.

I always take the baby sculptures with me when I travel for work without the girls. The surprise of feeling of them in my coat pocket or in a bag I've reached into provides a measurable quotient of calm through memory. In those moments I realize I am not separated from them by the constraints of time or space, as 'love knows no boundaries, no distance. It brings people together to a time called forever.'
  • Kelley Shields
  • birth giftslabor and deliverylabor talismans

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