Response to the six week on-line workshop short image exercise
copyright 1998 Storyarts
may not be reproduced in any form without permission of the author

Note by Storyarts:

There are other ways this exercise could be done, but this example comes close to being exactly what I hoped to see.
When you finish reading, take a moment to ask yourself what it is you most clearly recall from this page.  

An object that was lost:

By Susan

In November 1997, my husband and I moved to Nova Scotia. As we pulled
into shore at the Digby terminal, I took a picture of the two of us in
our new province. That's the last time I remember seeing it. It never
had a case or lens cap but it was my most prized possession. In
University I didn't have much money, but as I enjoyed photography, I
saved any money that I could to buy my Minolta. As years went by, my
camera went everwhere with me; I never forgot it anywhere.It was an
appendage. Now, all I am left with is a lens cap and electric flash. I
picture its long black strap with a cobalt blue stripe, its naked lens
being banged up by strangers hands, but most of all I wonder where the
film of my adventurous drive across Canada went, because I can never
take those pictures again.

An object that was burned:
One night last summer, after too much to drink, my husband and I had a
fight. We were sitting by the firepit in our backyard and I brought up
the subject of the day's laundry, particularly the sweater which he
dried and shrunk to the size for a barbie doll. The next stages of the
verbal arguing's escaltaion are blurry it culminated in me throwing the
sweater into the fire, and many angry tears at my husband. I'll never
forget how irrational and angry I became over a simple sweater.

The oldest object in your home:
The oldest object in our home is my favorite newly acquired object. It's
a massive blanket box from the 1700's, still surfaced in its original
finish, hinged together by hand wrought tacks, pegs and latches. Upon
opening it, a stale smell of centuries' wear wafts out, but what I love
most of all are the tattered pieces of newspaper which are pasted on the
inside lid. They span the late 1800's. I read these for hours, imagining
the lives of past owners, what they would buy, the issues mattering to

An object you're planning to get rid of
The last object to retire from my poor university days is an awful floor
lamp from Consumer's Distributing. It was only twenty dollars and my
friends and I joke about it, calling it the "lamp which everybody owns".
Everytime I go to a new friend's home, I look for this lamp. It is all
black; a slender pole mounted onto a plastic disc base. The top is
similar to the base but is facing upward so the light shines straight to
the ceiling. The dimmer switch is halfway up the pole and mine has never
worked quite right; unless the light is switched completely up, it lets
out a steady hum. I can't wait until it finally dies.

An object that belonged to my mother:
When my mother passes away I know I'll receive my grandma's opal
necklace.Hung from a delicate silver chain, the opal is set amongst
a ring of tiny diamonds. A few months after grandma's death, mom had it
appraised. Although unseen by the naked eye, the opal has a tiny flaw
which decreases its value substantially. Mom was disappointed but I
appreciated the necklace even more. A flaw didn't matter, it reminds me
of grandma even more, for I see the necklace now not just as a momento,
but as a symbol. Grandma, like everyone, had her flaws but still had a
unique, amazing beauty.

An object that belonged to my father
One winter, when I went winter camping, my father gave me his fighter-
pilot overalls from World War II. He bought them through a mail order
catalogue so he could keep warm on the unheated, unenclosed tractor. Dad
had tried to enlist, even lied of his age, but was denied because he
would be of more use to the country on the farm. When I wore those
heavy, heavy pants, I looked at the creased, lined, cracked and worn
black leather. They had been exposed to the same elements on that
tractor as the soldiers in the war; rain, sun, snow...and I often wonder
what imaginary adventures Dad had when circling the farm fields alone.

Copyright 1998 Storyarts, may not be republished without permission of the author