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Taking pleasure in everyday objects

Posted in Things We Love

I have always interpreted the concept of non-attachment to also relate to material things. You know – the image of the Buddhist monk wandering around with just one wooden bowl.
Taking a peek at my closet might give you the misguided impression I am not doing all that well with non-attachment but you would be somewhat mistaken. I don’t place a particular value on things: if something breaks, or is misplaced, I don’t get upset. I don’t do impulse buy. I don’t shop as therapy. I don’t miss things. I have a maniacal tendency to throw out stuff.

Where material non-attachment fails me is in a few objects I use on a daily basis that give me more pleasure than it might seem possible.

Let’s take this mauve cup, from which I drink green tea every single day: the delicate china is smooth against my lips; the handle reminds me of Alice in Wonderland; the color is playful. I love drinking from it – in fact, so much more pleasurable than if I used a random mug.

When I come down in the morning, the sky steel grey and the coyotes still prowling, I turn the lights on ever so barely, with a dimmer. I walk by a Venetian glass water bottle and six tumblers that immediately bright up the worst winter day. Every time I look at them, I am guaranteed the corners of my lips will lift. I think of the day, in Murano, when I decided to splurge and of the moment when the box arrived, and, hesitantly, I checked nothing was broken.

And then there are the $6.00 Fabriano A4 lined exercise books I use for note taking. The covers are thick and pulpy, the logo discreet and modern and, on the pages inside, the pencil doesn’t just write: it glides. The paper is so smooth, I find myself stroking it absent-mindedly.

What these objects share is the experience of texture and color. It sounds silly, as I write about them, to derive so much pleasure from inanimate things but I consider it one of the pleasures of being born in the human species. Taking full advantage of all my senses.

Do you have any special objects in your life?

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7 Comments

  1. Hmm… I think I’m more likely to become attached to things that I’ve received as gifts, rather than anything I’ve bought myself (I don’t go shopping much anyway)

    January 21, 2017
    |Reply
  2. I have a few pieces of Salzglasur pottery from my hometown in Germany that I cherish. Whenever I look at the pieces I am transformed back to trips when they were collected which elicit many happy memories. I recently broke one of the glasses that totally bummed me out since it is not replaceable. But I still have the other and will smile whenever I look at it, again recalling a happy memory. I can see why the pieces you chose provide you with a sense of pleasure-they are all quite beautiful. 🙂

    January 20, 2017
    |Reply
  3. Maybe my books. Now, e-reader time, I feel the importance and the beauty of owning books

    January 20, 2017
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      I enthusiastically embraced the e-reader but now I find myself preferring to hold solid, paper books.

      January 20, 2017
      |Reply
  4. Winston Moreton
    Winston Moreton

    I’ve got an old comfy pullover my wife would like me to throw out

    January 20, 2017
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      It’s a common manly attachment.

      January 20, 2017
      |Reply

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