In response to a newsletter, a customer wrote me about a conversation with a Japanese friend about ceremonies for daily use items. This idea intrigued me and I’m trying to learn more. In the meantime, I’ve been wondering: How would I design a ceremony for objects that I use every day?
Creating rituals is not my forte. I have, however, been cultivating a practice of gratitude. Before going to bed I write down three things for which I’m thankful. Some nights I have no trouble making the short list; other nights it takes me a while.
As I transition from 2012 to 2013, it feels important to express my gratitude: for roadside garbage pick-up, for the barista remembering my usual drink, for sunshine after a thunderstorm and so much more. That so much more includes the physical objects that support me in my everyday life.
My things and I have been through two cross-country moves this year. I made lots decisions about what to keep and what to let go of. The keepers spent almost two months in storage and I felt a little disoriented without them.
I found that what I missed most during those months was weaving equipment. In addition to being my livelihood, weaving keeps me grounded and I was more than a little disoriented without my looms.
My belongings are part of what makes my house a home. They are an expression of me and they hold a lot of meaning. My life flows more smoothly with my familiar tools at hand and when I know where things are.
As I scan the kitchen some of the things I see are:
- the ceramic tea canister I bought years ago at a craft fair that holds my loose leaf Golden Nepal tea
- the cheery yellow kettle that whistles when the tea water boils
- the avocado wood salad servers that my friend Holly made
- two well-used towels that were among my first weaving projects
These are all ordinary objects and it is easy to take them for granted. Each item has a story about how it came into my life and sometimes who made it. Each supports my daily life. They help me make my morning tea, toss & serve salads, and dry my hands while cooking and then cleaning up. Each deserves my gratitude and appreciation.
As I bring my attention to each item, I consider its story. I say a word of thanks and my awareness of the function it plays in my life deepens. My gratitude grows and I feel full. What a delicious way to end one year and begin the next.
My invitation to you: As you scan your kitchen or any room in your house, what do you see? How do these objects support your daily life? What happens when you pause and express gratitude for each item.