Thursday, October 20, 2011

Collections of the Heart

Why do we collect what we do? 

A question I've been pondering today. At its core, the answer seems straight forward: because we like it. But upon further thought, what follows is: why do we like it? It all came about when a discussion flowed from dreams to destinations this afternoon—what would we do with our possessions if we chose to move to another country? What would we bring? What could we leave...

Then it all seemed to circle around this one thought: what, in our hearts, our minds, pulled us to want, to cherish this particular item? Thoughts of value vs. worth transpired as I thought about my own belongings, examining and judging them all for the first time.

Some words came about—do these objects allow us reflect upon memories, a longing perhaps... bits and pieces of the past, with the future in mind; What you identify with, what you hold most dear in your heart. Your heart need not evaluate the monetary difference between a little gift, handmade by a dear friend or a large custom painting, hanging on the wall.

Certainly, some things may be collected strictly for their initial visual value, how they might inspire us, but for others, the meaning behind the object runs much deeper. What is enjoyable to the eyes and touch often travel straight to the heart. It travels back to core of who we are...

And who might look upon such things long after we are gone? Will my own granddaughter play with the very same Victorian dollhouse that I adored so much growing up? Will she run her little fingers along the dainty red velvet chairs and long lace curtains as I did? Will she drink warm tea out of the same pale green teacup and tuck a cookie on the saucer? Will she sit with her daughter, laughing and sharing in the same beautiful storybooks that had once opened my imagination and dreams as a child?

Images (scanned): 01The New French Décor by Gilles Trillard | 02-05 French Country Style at Home by Sébastien Siraudeau


  1. Hi Sarah - gorgeous as ever, especially that last image. It makes me wonder...what do I collect? Dresses with peter pan collars, red shoes, driftwood, little wooden boats and Portuguese enamel cockerels! My daughter knows I love these things so we are always on the look out for them! Lovely post, Lou x

  2. Wonderful post and wonderful thoughts Sarah! Each of us has some treasured ojects we hold dear. I don't yet collect anything, but if I am to start I think I would really like it to be art!! I hope I can have a bit more of a budget for this said collection one day :)
    Nancy xo

  3. Dearest Sarah,

    A very thought provoking post! For the question as to what you would take to another country, I can answer as we've crossed the Atlantic three times with all our belongings. That personal 'NEST' which cannot be replaced, gives an instant 'AT HOME FEELING' be it in The Netherlands; Georgia; Pennsylvania; Italy; Georgia... Yes, those are the arteries to the heart, some are woven deep as they came from relatives, passed on with a meaning and with pure love. Others are fond memories of places and emotions shared with your true love... Like books, it embodies your soul and the arteries to the heart. It soothes and calms you down; wherever you set up your new home.
    Love to you and you're special for digging this deep at your young age!


  4. Gorgeous photos!! Love these rooms!!! That clock is beautiful :)

  5. A beautiful, well thought out post Sarah...I often ask myself this question as I strive to eliminate clutter and only keep objects that are meaningful, with feelings and memories attached. If or rather when I will move, the furniture will stay behind, but books, photos, objects gathered in remote parts of the world, family mementoes will have to come along

  6. Such beautiful writing, Sarah. Plenty to think about.
    Thank you for sharing.

  7. So true! I have a collection of china that my late grandmothers collected for me from the Czech Republic {where my family is from and where they lived} I remember when I was about 10 the first set arrived and slowly over the years the collection grew. Now when anyone goes back they bring me, my sister and my cousin a new piece for our collection. Not only does it remind me of my grandmas but it is a piece of my heritage and ancestry that I hope my children will appreciate. We also have a set of antique silverware that was my hubby's great-great grandmothers - so fun to imagine the grand tables that the set was used and what life was like 150 years ago!

    Beautiful post!

  8. I'm still pondering those thoughts...I know my library of books will go wherever I set up a new home...they're not only beautiful to share, and date back to a family book of the 1800's but remind me of days reading to each of my kids, looking for books that would touch each individual personality, building a special Christmas collection, my childhood books that my Mom gave me that I read...days squeezing in some relaxing time in a busy life...sharing times filled with inspiration (this of course includes my cookbooks), and then my favorite cooking vessels because they evoke time cooking and sharing with my family and friends...and some furniture pieces that speak to me that I would not be able to find anywhere else...but mostly, if you are with those you love, you can lose everything material and still have everything you need :)

  9. You always give us something to ponder...XO, Mona

  10. I'm pondering these questions right now, as I've moved from a home that I lived in for ten years to a condominium that is temporary for a year until we decide where to settle. After moving all those boxes, I vowed not to move anything again that I don't truly LOVE. As I start to go through the boxes, that is a harder decision than one would think!

    Sandy at Ooh La Frou Frou
    This Week: "Grand Flirt"


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