Saturday, September 13, 2014

Life's leftover items

As is the case with many of us, over the years I've accumulated a considerable amount of items through various means. Some even date back as wedding gifts, still others make an appearance as birthday presents brought out on occasion over the years, but a larger portion end up stored away in cupboards rarely to see the light of day.

At some point during a lifetime, somebody - usually offspring or close relatives - will be left with the responsibility of making a decision on their eventual fate. Some items most likely will be kept due to sentimental value while others may end up in garage sales or as some people like to call them, estate sales. Call them what you want but in the end someone's left over's are another person's bargains, which will inevitably end up stored away in a basement or cupboard and re-sold at another garage sale. Such is the circle of life.

On a personal note, it's always somewhat surprising to look over people's accumulative treasures. It's like seeing lives in review along with price tags to make it all more meaningful. I mean, how does one part with items or tchotchkes that have graced side tables. or sets of dishes part of holiday celebrations. More to the point, how can a value be placed on them?

My main concern as an artist, is a collection of paintings that have been amassed over the years. Obviously, some are better than others but in my mind and eyes,  they are all valuable. Many are gracing the walls of our abode and still others, without a place on the wall to call home, are displayed on easels. Each one has a story to tell focusing on paint-overs, color mis-matches and other assorted trial-and-error processes, which made the end result more meaningful. One wonders, though, as to their eventual fate.

I'd like to think that the painting output will be handed over in care of Christies or other equally famous auction houses, where they will be auctioned off for millions of dollars or at least in the hundred-thousands for sure.

"Item number 1234-29 in your catalogue, people," the auctioneer will direct bidders. "A painting by well-known artist, Eleanor Tylbor, who expresses her talent in the Nouveau Transitional-Tylbor style. You will notice her strong use of yellow, one of her favorite colors, accompanied by mixed hues of green and beige to capture nature's harvest. How much am I bid for this masterpiece of nouveau expressionism?"

Actually, the reality is that once a painting is finished if it is ever finished, since it can be "fixed" even a year or two later, it rarely leaves home. The emotional attachment is overwhelming and hence the reason for them remaining part of my collection but accommodations can be made, though. It could be difficult to bid it adieu but its departure would be acceptable, knowing it would have a good home

Then there is the collection of my plays written over the years. They are mere words to many people but when put together, they can tell stories of people put in situations that shape our lives. Plays are witness to society's changing mores and reflect the times we've lived in.

Ancient civilizations have come and gone and remnants of former lives emerge. In the end, though, tchotchkes live on.

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