7.7.11

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THINGS
AMONG the mind's powers is one that comes of itself to many children and artists. It need not be lost, to the end of his days, by anyone who has ever had it. This is the power of taking delight in a thing, or rather in anything, everything, not as a means to some other end, but just because it is what it is, as the lover dotes on whatever may be the traits of the beloved object. A child in the full health of his mind will put his hand flat on the summer turf, feel it, and give a little shiver of private glee at the elastic firmness of the globe. He is not thinking how well it will do for some game or to feed sheep upon. That would be the way of the wooer whose mind runs on his mistress's money. The child's is sheer affection, the true ecstatic sense of the thing's inherent characteristics. No matter what the things may be, no matter what they are good or no good for, there they are, each with a thrilling unique look and feel of its own, like a face; the iron astringently cool under its paint, the painted wood familiarly warmer, the cold crumbling enchantingly down in the hands, with its little dry smell of the sun and of hot nettles; each common thing a personality marked by delicious differences.
C. E. MONTAGUE
Disenchantment, 1922

I unearthed this old book from a pile of dated cookbooks and gardening manuals at a Salvos store before I left Sydney. We were in the process of packing at the time, so before I had a chance to flick through it,  it was stacked in a box and sent on it's way. Since moving to Queensland, the only books I've picked up are some natural birthing books and various baby name books. I've been feeling rather uninspired lately, so I decided to select a book at random to take out into the backyard, a place of many and varied forms of distraction for an irritable babe.

The book lives up to its title, one of the few you can judge by it's cover - each page presenting snippets of a gorgeously rich anthology. The tone of the poems, prose and images is deeply serious, but not in a gloomy sense. As I sat in my garden with my daughter and watched her explore and discover life's simple treasures, this particular piece, simply titled "Things" resonated in the most uncanny way.

How simply beautiful it must be to see and discover this world through her pure, unconditioned senses.

10 comments :

  1. Claire what a beautiful snippet of time shared with your little girl. I bet she felt much better being outside exploring this wonderful world. Seeing the world through the eyes of a child is beautiful. xo

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  2. I wish sometimes we could know exactly what they think. Routine and the simple things in life are what they love. Gorgeous photos :) Thank you for your comment. Yes, I do desaturate them a little and add more yellow colour too via picnik.com x

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  3. The book sounds beautiful, as are the photos. How ironic that you're talking about gorgeous prose today of all days because I came over here specifically this morning to say what a funny picture you've painted of your sister, in her one word sentences ... "Hot. Tired. Hungry. Fat. Bored." !!!! Kellie xx

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  4. Hey Claire, do you have Buddhism For Mothers? I'm going to send it to you if not, it's a must have. Kellie xx

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  5. What a wonderful find. I would love to discover some new things in this world too .... rather than continuing to do all the same old boring things - wouldn't that be lovely!

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  6. so sweet. and your dog looks like snuffleupagus! perfect for gleeful, unencumbered petting.

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  7. What a beautiful post. To watch your daughter discover must be such a beautiful thing yes. And i'm sure that you're learning new things right along with her too, how amazing is that! I love reading your blog Claire and getting snippets of this amazing time in your life :)
    xoxo Natasha

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  8. oh the first-time discoveries of a little one. precious, oh so precious. and the chubby fingers - hmmmm, cute overload.

    Thanks for your sweet comments on my blog C...they mean the world x

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  9. That's really lovely. And those little arms in stripes must be hard to resist.

    Love your comment on my latest post by the way. I may be quoting you Ben questions my shopping habits for the bub... "but Claire said...!" xx

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  10. Um. What's our dog and her ball doing in your garden? (sweet post and glorious pics!)...

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - it really means so much. I will try to reply where I can! xx