Hey diddle diddle,
The Cat and the fiddle,
The Cow jumped over the moon,
The little Dog laughed to see such sport,
And the Dish ran away with the Spoon
It has never ceased to amaze me how radically a life trajectory can be changed initially by the most seemingly mundane events & objects. In my case it was 1996 and it was the spontaneous purchase of eight place settings of Dansk Torun silver plated utensils that got the ball rolling. This purchase was made at what logically was the most inauspicious of times in my life right after finishing graduate school when I was flat broke. However, the silver pieces were on a rare sale which inspired the choice to buy right then and leaving me with finding the way to pay for it, then set in motion a chain of events that eventually changed the trajectory of my entire life.
The late summer of ’96 I had just moved half way across the country and was looking for work using my degree. However this purchase ended up necessitating the choice for immediate temporary work outside of my educational field. I found myself with a temp job as a purchasing agent for an international mining company. At the time I kept a spoon from the set tied with a ribbon in my desk in my office to remind me why I was there. It gave me a smile every time I opened the drawer and was motivation to work through not necessarily loving the job.
In the end, with all good stories from our pasts that now can include hindsight, it turned out what really was happening is that with this seemingly spontaneous purchase, the universe was positioning me to be able to meet one of the most important and influential people in the flow of my life to date at that time. Needing to pay for those utensils by taking that job ended up directly gifting me a friendship with an incredible man who over the years following had an ongoing conversation with the ear in my heart. It was a conversation that at its end, left me ready to go off into the world having the strength to begin to know myself and to live an authentic life honoring truth as I understood it to be at that time.
Fast forward another 10 years after buying that silverware and every aspect of life as I had known it at the time of their purchase has changed. I was living in New York City and attended an exhibition entitled Feeding Desire: Design & The Tools of The Table 1500-2005, on the history of tableware at the Smithsonian Institution Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. As I am wandering through this stunning space, to my surprise and delight, what was one of the only modern patterns from their collection featured at this instillation as an example of modern tableware elevated as art? My Torun set!
As I saw my silverware sitting there so beautifully displayed in a place of honor in this amazing space, I laughed out loud. I then quietly made my way into the utterly stunning Tiffany glass roofed conservatory room at the museum and sat down holding still for quite a bit with a heart overflowing in utter gratitude for knives, forks, spoons and people that have the power to change lives.
The Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Museum (magic atrium at right and below)
A few years ago when I gave away most of my earthly possessions to my sweet sister, these silver place settings are one of the only things I kept. Today I still love their design as much as I did back then and now they have the added treasure of a secret knowing smile when I use them.
Today as I set the stage for a small dinner party, I am reminded how simple everyday objects can so powerfully be used as theater props that harbor the potential to turn lives upside down. At my table, eating off such magic objects makes me remember anything is always possible. It reminds me of how much fun it is to feed desire and feast on changing life trajectories with N and friends who gather there.