Things break. Little things, big things, hearts, you name it – the FRAGILE stamp is stamped straight, sideways, and upside down. And what isn’t broken can be lost just as easily. That being said, I’ve always kept an eye on the incidentals of my life, the three tiny porcelain ducks and the brown cow creamer that my grandmother let us play with, unconcerned; the yellow Easter egg she gave me on that last holiday we were together; the souvenir cup and saucer from the Gingerbread Castle in Hamburg, NJ, kept safe by my sister Lynnie for all those years – that recently and unexpectedly arrived in the mail as a wonderful surprise – yes, I look at these inanimate objects like little touchstones of emotional safety, knowing they can be broken or lost.
Such was the fate of my clown figurine. Never crazy about clowns, I, nevertheless, found it looking at me from a shelf at the Goodwill in South Florida. This particular clown had nothing creepy about it. And at two bucks, money was not a deal-breaker. My tile floor, however, proved to be a clown-breaker five years later. I picked up the pieces but couldn’t stand to throw them away. Instead, I stuck them in a zip-lock bag and saved them for the savior of shattered clowns – okay, that’s dramatic – I saved them because I knew my dear friend, the artist B. Aline Blanchard, would figure something out. Over our next dinner, I handed her the pieces, and then forgot all about the whole thing. I had other things to break, and who has time to dwell over crushed clowns?
Fast forward six months. My husband and I relocated to another part of the country, a new dwelling, a new configuration, everything changed. The spot where the clown sat now had a small gnome holding a daisy – honestly, I’d forgotten all about the sound of slip clay hitting tile. And then Aline and Arthur visited, and she presented me with – THE CLOWN! Only now, it’s an art piece called “Moving Casualty” and hangs on the wall over my reading chair. I can’t stop looking at it. With thanksgiving. For friendship, for love, for family, for knowing that the incidentals in life aren’t what’s really important, love is all that matters.