Thursday, April 22, 2010
Day 13: The Windowsill
My husband is fond of pointing out that I like "little things" meaning tiny objects. I have a collection of small vases (one to four inches tall). A favorite daily task is putting a single flower or two into a thumb-sized vase and placing it on a windowsill or in an unexpected location. I'm fond of daisies of all kinds because they stay fresh for surprisingly long periods, I've observed.
The collection of odd items next to the mini flower arrangement includes a two inch Kuan Yin, the Chinese goddess of compassion. She sits presiding over a menagerie of a glass cat, a stone horse, a topaz cougar, a wooden mouse, an iron frog and a wooden curled cat figure.
Some of these were gifts, some were souvenirs of travel. It has struck me as sensible if one is going to buy tchotchke then it might as well be small stuff.
(Tchotchke (originally from Yiddish טשאַטשקע tshatshke [often spelled in a variety of other ways (such as tshotshke, tshatshke, tchatchke, chachke, orchochke) because there is no standardized transliteration] trinket), ultimately from a Slavic word for "toys" (Polish: cacka, Russian: цацки) are trinkets, small toys, knickknacks, baubles, or kitsch. The term has a connotation of worthlessness or disposability, as well as tackiness. The term was long used in the Jewish-American community and in the regional speech of New York City.)
I admit that I needed to look up the spelling of this fine word, and since the definition, et al, was pleasing I hope you don't mind that I included it here. I don't attach the attribute of tackiness to my use of the word tchotchke. But to me they are little things.
Beauty can be found everywhere. It can be celebrated by taking a single flower and giving it attention. I once told my sister that if she picked a dandelion from her back yard and placed it in a shot glass on her counter it would have the same purpose. Looking at a living flower can remind us of the whole world. Wasn't it the Buddha who, when asked about the meaning of life, simply held up a single flower?
It is so easy to bring beauty into our lives, onto our windowsills and desks. Something living, a flower that won't last long, is a reminder to appreciate the natural world and treasure our fleeting time on earth.