the heartstring-thing.

here’s something i’ve learned from junk stores and thrift shops and yard sales:

do not expect.

do. not. expect.


i do have a running list of items i might like to find at those places; things i’m always open for. wooden spoons are one. blue mason jars with zinc lids. old-lady linen tablecloths. handmade quilts that need restitching. unblemished pyrex bowls. french enamelware.

sometimes i even find them. yay!

but the running list is not my top priority, because really, what keeps me on a perpetual hunt is the feeling of the tug of a heartstring.

once in a great while, i find something that gets under my skin like a middle-school crush, only better. (better how? because the object of my affection is more often within my reach at a thrift store than the boy was for me when i was a chubby, insecure middle-schooler.)

the heartstring-thing is the item that finds me when i’m scanning the shop and says, “i am so special! you must love me! nobody else will understand me! i need you! you will love me better than anyone else can! i fit with you!” when the heartstring-thing finds me, i pay it some mind. i see if i get the flushy crushy feeling i’ve been waiting for. and if that feeling is there, i don’t walk away. maybe it’s sort of like falling in love.

i hope you don’t think that’s shallow, falling in love with an object. but i simply don’t know another way. just as i wouldn’t move in with a bad boyfriend, i won’t live with objects i don’t love. i would rather have less stuff and more love. i know better, these days, than to mess around with one-night stands.

this painting here is a heartstring-thing. i found it at an antique shop in portland. it’s very, very weird and beautiful and it really moves me. it’s quite a well-done hand-painted reproduction of an 1850 painting by byron webb. (there’s very little information about the painting out there, but i think this article mentions that the original lives on park avenue, with a person who crazy loves it just like i do, in my un-park avenue style heartstringy way.)

what are the things on your running list? do you have a special heartstring-thing? how do you know when you’ve found one?


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