Posted in Writing Life

*Picture My Life

A few days ago I was looking at the end table in the corner of the living room, and realizing how much of my life that corner revealed. I took a photo of it so that I can tell you about it.

click to enlarge

First of all the roses. My husband got them for me for Rosh Hodesh, which is the new moon of the lunar month, and in Jewish tradition a holiday for women. (There is some textual evidence that at one time it was a more important holiday than the Sabbath, but how it was celebrated and why it receded in importance isn’t known, though we can guess.) The scroll painting behind it is one of two that we got from China on each of our trips there to receive our children.

The microscope sits on the end table permanently, used to look at salt and sugar crystals, leaves, and other discoveries. I find it handy for reading the teeny tiny writing on a sewing machine needle if I forget which one I put in the sewing machine last time. A year ago the microscope was used to distinguish between dandruff and lice. (I’m glad we’ve not had a repeat of that!)

The Singer sewing machine oil beside it oiled my new, used machines purchased a few months ago and the spool of nylon thread was used in repairing my leather backpack. I still admire the repair, not because it’s especially skilled, but at the marvel of being able to do it at all.

The stone has a nautilus fossil embedded in it, picked up when my family visited our friends on Haida Gwaii, attending their wedding, finally made possible by the Civil Marriage Act in Canada that led to every couple being able to get married regardless of gender.

The mug, with a picture of New York on it, (two towers intact) was left by a former housemate. How we became housemates is a long story, but the end of it is that I moved into this house, met A, she moved out, we got married, started our family and bought the house.

Inconspicuous in the back corner is a large size dispenser of hand sanitizer, which I bought during the h1n1 scare. It facilitates good hygiene but didn’t protect us in the least. We all had h1n1; I got pneumonia. I am still aware of how good it is to breathe.

The pile of books behind the mug belongs to me and A. The top one is The Quickening Maze, which I liked very much and have intended to review for a week, but instead have been making jewelry for myself and my d’s. Another day I’ll show you pictures.

It is a peaceful corner, and we have had a peaceful June. How pleasant it is to linger in the thought of this blessing.



Lilian is the author of Web of Angels, a novel about a mom with DID (multiple personalities). She's also the author of the historical novels, The River Midnight and The Singing Fire, about secrets, friendship and motherhood in 19th century Poland and London.

8 thoughts on “*Picture My Life

    1. Thank you both! It was fun to write and while I was looking at the photograph noticed other things as well–the lamp that we bought after the house was rewired, the outlet that was the first sign of our house needing to be rewired, a dedicated circuit for the a/c unit. We had an electrician come in for that and tell us it was impossible, and then another electrician came–an older, short man who just said it needed muscle to drill through the brick, which he did. I was impressed with his energy!

  1. I love the stories behind those objects. If you’d given us that as an exercise I would never have guessed all the associations. My mom has a microscope similar to that which she uses to look at flowers. And now I’m also curious to hear more about the quickening maze.

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the story behind all these objects. You’ve set me thinking about some of the tableaus in my house right now and what they have to say about my life 🙂

  3. A microscope! What an extraordinary thing to have turned into something of everyday practical use! And what a great title – The Quickening Maze – I’ll look forward to the review!

    I love that all these objects of whimsy, ritual, memory and utility were all sitting there quietly waiting for you to tell their story, Lilian – in fact I plain love the whole thing.

  4. Thanks everybody! I smiled the whole time I wrote this post. Now it’s your turn if you like. I’d love to see a photo of your corner and hear about it. BTW at first the microscope was kept in its styrofoam packing, but it was better just to keep it out. That wasn’t due to any rationale; it was pure laziness or busyness or whatever it is that puts housework lower down on the list of priorities. But it’s turned out to be a good thing as it gets much more use sitting there and has become a fixture.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s