Unmounted wall wine rack, on the floor, in the corner, unused. A gift that will never be given. It’s stainless steel finish mocks in more ways than one. It has a clean, sparse design. No hardware came with it. Yes, it’s from IKEA, though that is not where I purchased it. It is and always will be empty. Why would I keep it? I don’t drink wine. It was suppose to be a gift.
Can a wall mounted wine rack be anything other than what it was meant to be? Could it have a second career as something else; even if it never had it’s first career? Maybe it could be garden art. Maybe I could scrounge empty bottles of wine to put in it. Or better yet, I could break the bottles, sand the edges and plant some sort of creeping vine. Would that be inspirational, or just desperate?
It is simply a superfluous object. A thing. A piece of consumerism that should never have been brought home. There is no space here; there is no space at the intended recipient’s home. What was I thinking? Objects become clutter if they don’t serve a purpose. This wine rack was suppose to have a purpose – hold wine – but if it can’t perform it’s duty then what becomes of it. It goes into the landfill, with tons of other useless objects that were once feverently wanted but rarely needed. But do I really need to add another piece of trash to an already overflowing trash heap?
I will keep this silly, useless, hunk of metal. Heck, the intended recipient might even find a use for it elsewhere. It will find a use somewhere; either as a piece of garden art, or perhaps even as a part of a downspout sculpture. Laugh, but an elaborate stainless steel downspout already exists at the beach house of the intended.
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This bit of a rant is brought to you courtesy of the Weekly Writing Challenge.
Objects are evocative; they hold stories. The writing challenge this week is to begin with an object. Take something small, and concrete — a thing, a noun — and use that as a starting point. You may simply want to describe the object: what does it look like, how does it feel, does it have a scent, a flavor, does it make a sound? Or you may want to use an object as a focal point to expand into something bigger. I wrote about rolling pins once, and a cookbook another time, and both led me into old kitchens, and musings of grandmothers, and recollections of favorite family meals. A piece on pie led me into my son’s Buddha soul. You never know where you might end up. Show us where an object leads you.
Looking for something more specific? Try one of these ideas:
- Look around your writing space. Pick three objects you see (or hear or smell or feel) and reveal them to your reader. How do they represent you? How do they tell your story?
- Treat yourself to an artist’s day out. Explore an antique shop, or an art museum, a botanical garden, a park. Find an object that resonates with you and write its story.
- Go into your kitchen. Pick an object, any object that sparks a flame in you (or puts one out) — a cookbook, a muffin tin, your grandmother’s cast iron skillet, a rotting banana — and write about it.
- Character sketch: If you are working on character development, think about your character’s stuff. What objects are in her desk drawer? His medicine cabinet? Her glove compartment? What objects are in your desk drawer, medicine cabinet, glove compartment?
- Prompt box: Using small slips of paper, write the names of 20-30 things you love: seashells, copper kettles, cumulus clouds, golden pastries, tattoos. Fold the slips and put them into a vessel — a box, a hat, a jar. Pull a prompt out and write for ten minutes about it. Keep your pen (or fingers) moving and allow all thoughts onto the page (or the screen), regardless of what your inner editor says. Use this prompt box whenever you are stuck.
Have fun with the challenge. Looking forward to reading your posts!