Objects as Memory Links to People

Did you notice the new logo at the top of the page? This logo is part of my own lifestory. The tiny image hangs on the wall above my desk and reminds me of the beauty of the human heart, in all its various moods. I may have been staring at the picture when I came up with the name for this blog. It’s a legacy from my mother, a talented painter, craftsman and art collector. This wee little piece spoke to me when it was time to disperse her collection. I’ve had it hanging one place or another for over ten years now, and it has inspired messages in many e-mails, several essays, and now this blog entry. I always feel uplifted when I look at it.

I don’t know why Mother bought it. I like to think that she also found it uplifting. I like to think that it’s something she would have painted herself, had she thought of it. She uplifted and inspired others most effectively through her art. The painting triggers memories for me of Mother at her best, when she was painting in her studio, or sitting at the workbench where she crafted innovative stained glass objects and similar things, or working in her sewing room where she produced exotic fiber arts creations. She was a gifted multi-media artist in a time when multi-media was still thought of primarily as a description of multiple art forms.

I’ve never felt inspired to pick up a paint brush, and the time I used to spend at my sewing machine is now spent at my computer, but I did inherit her versatility. I just apply it in different ways, with words and digital graphics. I love to experiment with different forms of writing and ways of enhancing the writing with layout and graphics.

This painting serves as a touchstone for examining my relationship with my mother, and relationships form a key part of our lifestories. Do you display pictures or other items acquired from your predecessors that you can weave into your lifestory? What memories do they bring back to you. Try sitting for a few minutes with a blank piece of paper and write about one item. How does that item connect you to the other person?

Write on,

Sharon Lippincott, aka Ritergal

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