Form & Function?

by Diminishing Lucy on September 7, 2010 · 15 comments

It’s guest-posty time! We’re talking about dust-collectors, nic nacs and other domestic space invaders….

Lucy here, from Diminishing Lucy. Hello.

I am not a fan of too much clutter. I had far too many knick knacks and dusting duties as a child, and when I left home, I left it all behind. And never accumulated anything more of the cluttery ornamental nature.
I moved to Australia 15 years ago with nothing more than a backpack and when the lovely husband and I shacked up together, I bought no knickery knackery with me. An envelope of old family photos was about it.
I have no need.
I like my surfaces clean and bare.
I like to feel unencumbered.
I do not like the weight on my conscience of heirlooms or memento. In my heart, or on my housekeeping list.
So when I was given this, this gorgeous thing, you can imagine how stunned I was, stunned that I fell in love, with a bit of soap stone.

These shona stone sculptures are one of the most popular emerging African art forms. The figures show many family members, who all merge together at various points, symbolizing the unity and shared spirit of the family unit.
My lovely husband bought this piece for me. I have no idea where from. But I do remember why.
It was around the time of the peak of my utter desperation over our unexplained fertility.
Years of trying to conceive, without joy.
I was slipping into a hopeless spiral of doubt and bleakness.
He, that lovely husband of mine, was totally optimistic, always.
He gave this “Ukama” sculpture to me, with a promise, the he would indeed give me all the babies I ever wanted.
With the promise we would share the family we both so desperately craved.
I believed him.
The soapstone, its cool smoothness, its simplicity, gave me hope, all the time.
And  now, years later, I have my three beautiful children. (And one other baby that is not of this earth.)
So this soapstone thing, this “dust collector” still holds pride of place. It is my only ornament.
It represents hope. It shows me that optimism can overcome so much, and that, sometimes, just sometimes, a beautiful thing that has no apparent function or purpose, probably does. Really.
If for no other reason than it has the power to lift a sad heart.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Lori @ RRSAHM September 8, 2010 at 8:12 am

Just beautiful Luce. Thanks so much for this post, I loved it.


River September 7, 2010 at 8:12 pm

It's a gorgeous piece of knick-knackery. I love the feel of soapstone. I have a few dust catchers, but earlier this year I had a huge decluttering month, where I took trolley loads of stuff to op shops that already had shelves groaning under the weight of similar objects. I don't yet have empty surfaces, but what I do have is photos mostly, so that's okay. I think it's lovely the way that statue helped to bring you your family.


Kimberly September 7, 2010 at 7:35 pm

What a lovely story! I am also not of the nick nac breed but I have 2 chimeras figurines from my grandma before she passed. They are god ugly but I used to play with them whenever I was at my grandmas. It's a nice reminder of how awesome she was. Like who would let a toddler prance around the house with porcelain?


So Now What? September 7, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Tis a lovely, lovely story Miss Lucy.

My Aunty sent me this god awful rooster but you know what, it takes pride of place on my kitchen ledge because she loves it and wanted me to have good luck. And even though it looks at me with it's beady eye, I still lub him.

Thaks Lori for hosting the wonderful Lucy xx


roryrory September 7, 2010 at 2:37 pm

gorgeous :) some clutter is good for the soul :)


Yvonne September 7, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Such a beautiful piece, both the sculpture and the post.


MultipleMum September 7, 2010 at 11:42 am

What a lovely story! I grew up in a house full of Toby Jugs. I'm done with clutter of the ornamental kind.


The Fat Lady September 7, 2010 at 11:23 am

What a beautiful, thoughtful gift. Your post has made me cry buckets, might have to get onto some actual WORK to stem the tide, but thankyou for posting :)


Mrs Woog September 7, 2010 at 10:54 am

What a lovely sentiment! You chose a good one Lucy! xo


Maxabella September 7, 2010 at 10:17 am

Lovely post, Lucy. I embrace the power of art and the comfort of asthetics. I love my 'clutter' but I'm very selective (my mum was also a collector…)

You husband's gift was so thoughtful. It speaks volumes of good stuff about him. x


Kristy September 7, 2010 at 8:24 am

It was almost like a visual piece that helped you create what happened! Does that make sense? Great story, and beautiful sculpture.


Amy xxoo September 7, 2010 at 7:33 am

Gorgeous Lucy – the " dust collector " and your post…


livinglifeasme September 7, 2010 at 7:10 am

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I love the way you learned how an inanimate object of "knick knackery" can represent hope and the fulfillment of your dreams. You now have a family heirloom that can be passed down through the generations. Make sure you save this story so it can be passed down too. Really just beautiful. xx


Eva Gallant September 7, 2010 at 1:05 pm

What a beautiful story!


Good Golly Miss Holly! September 7, 2010 at 8:31 am

Just lovely Lucy!


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