Friday, May 2, 2008

Glorious Cabinet of Perfect Order and Beauty

This is the cabinet in the eye of the storm: shelves of perfect stillness and order, of beautiful and oddly fascinating objects. In times of need, buffeted by high winds, I gaze upon its contents, soaking up its shades of blue and green and earthy brown serenity. The handmade oak cabinet contains the meaningful, the gorgeous, the sentimental, the peculiar, the magical, the historical, the silly, and the symbolic. There is a simple glass door (open here) that encloses these treasures in a shelter from the chaos of the universe.

A partial inventory includes:

1. A cobalt blue and white Norwegian vase that my mother bought for me when we were in NYC when I was a teenager.

2. A miniature silver devil sculpture that my brother gave me. It should be placed near a fireplace, to protect the house from any spirits with bad intentions that might swirl down the chimney. Supposedly it repels the devil with his own mocking image. (Okay, so I don't have a chimney. It protects my collection from evil drafts that come in through the kitchen door.) My brother has the other of the pair.

3. Two fantastic vessels made by artist John Glick of Plum Tree Pottery, Michigan. Visit his Web site to learn about his work, his philosophy, and his creative process.

4. A pregnant-looking, incised vase I bought in London the year I graduated from college.

5. Four tiny turned wood vases, three from one of my oldest friends and one a treat to myself from another artist.

6. Two intricately detailed Native American vessels, one small, one even smaller, given to me by my husband and younger daughter.

7. Two Cyclops-like creatures from the Open Studio Art Gallery in Catskill, NY. This is a wonderful and strange place to visit, full of unusual creations. (See photo in article.)

Now, where is my cabinet of contained chaos to balance my cabinet of perfect order? Can a poem be either one?


Stu Jenks said...

These are truly lovely pots. Am a big fan of Cobalt Blue

Christine said...

Thanks, Stu, I am too.

Sandra McPherson said...

I have just encountered your enchanting blog. I think I will make it daily reading. Where did my miniature Marx (?) room go when a roommate moved in? And now that he's out, I'm going to seriously guard my Glick pieces. I love your title for this picture. Has the cabinet changed in a year? Also, do you know of the 19th C poet/potter Otagaki Rengetsu? You'd love something of hers, I'd guess. Best wishes, Sandra McPherson

Christine said...

Thanks, Sandra. How delightful to find another poet here! The cabinet has changed slightly; always fun to rearrange perfection a little bit and shake things up. Do you have some of John Glick's wonderful art? And do/did you really own one of the miniature Marx rooms? Love these coincidences. Another one: I just spoke to a former student of yours from Iowa in the 80's! It turns out she was thinking of getting back in touch with you. For more details, feel free to contact me at the e-mail address on the home page. Again, thanks so much for the generous words. Oh, and I will be sure to check out Otagaki Rengetsu.