contemplating simple perfection

a perfect tomato

my mom brought us her first tomato. it is kind of a perfect one. the shape, color, size. it brings out the hoarder in me. i don't want to eat it - i just want to keep it so i can look at it forever. but it's perishable, so it must get eaten.

when i was a kid i would save anything that i liked. i would try and keep things neat and pristine. hence i have hello kitty erasers and pencils that i'm JUST NOW starting to use [i have a pencil case that i think i'll pass onto the little when she gets old enough]. i would silently shake my head at my friends who ripped all their stickers off the backing and put them everywhere. i always wanted duplicates - one to use and one to keep.

i have mixed feelings about this. part of me still practices this - although i've loosened up a lot. i use things when i want to [the childhood me might keep a set of markers until they dried up and weren't usable. the adult me realizes some things don't keep forever and to use what you have when the fancy strikes you]. part of me wonders why i would hold such trivial things so dear.

it even applies to food. i would always save the best part of something for last. so if it was a cupcake i'd tend to eat around the outside until i got to the last bite of the absolute middle. i still often do this. saving a bite of food i know will be most flavorful for the last bite that i take. i guess i want to savor and remember....

then again - often it's in the very simple and mundane that i find the most perfection.


like these spoons. i woke up and my husband had lined up our little baby spoons on our kitchen table. i'm a sucker for anything in rows. and colorful things in rows. well.... i can get absolutely giddy. this very small gesture made my whole day. and i had to take a photo of it to "keep" it.

maybe that's what has also changed. when i was a child i couldn't photograph something to remember it by [or it wasn't as easy as it is now] - and so i wanted to keep everything so that it could "live" not only in my physical world, but in my mental world. now i can photograph a fleeting moment [or tomato] that i find intriguing... and thus it stays with me for as long as i want it to.

i wonder if there's a term for hoarding digital imagery. it's not like it sits in noticeable piles like everything else i hoard - ahem i mean collect .

what do you notice? what do you hoard? what small moments of perfection make you gleeful?

have a great weekend


deerseason87 said…
I have noticed the same thing about myself! I have always been a hoarder, collector, pack rat... it was always hard for me to pass things by when I was out and about, because I'd want to take them home with me. But now I just take pictures and I find that it is equally satisfying and doesn't create so much physical clutter. Who knew that digital photography would have that effect?
sophia said…
"i would silently shake my head..."
that line is so funny lisa.
i definitely have a side of me like that. but like you, the realization of "why not enjoy this now?" seems to be the better way to go for me as i get older (and wiser?) it somehow feels more freeing when i do it, so that helps with the hoarding i think.
as for "hoarding" digital imagary, i don't think of it like that...though storing and organizing images can be a whole other issue to be dealt with.
sophia said…
btw, that's a nice looking tomato.
Little Lovables said…
I am the same as you. I make jewerly and I can't even use the best of my beads and findings because they are just too pretty sitting there in my little craft boxes!

I never used my cute erasers either, all are still completely in tact.
Vanessa said…
the spoons are so adorable! i love that photo
louise said…
Love your description of you collecting tendencies. I used to keep my best pencils for only very special occasions rather than everyday use. So much so that they would last for years and years. xoxo lj
melissa s. said…
i think my childhood me would be proud that i managed to save all my beloved stickers for 30+ years. the adult me tries to focus on the present, but still gets caught up in collecting pretty things. i don't think it's all that bad to want to be surrounded by lovliness, as long as it doesn't weigh you down? the spoons are lovely, and it's that feeling of being loved that is being preserved. can't have too much of that ;-)
Esti said…
A couple of months back I noticed I still had some cute notebooks my gramma bought in France for me when I was ten years old, and decided to give them to my daughters. They've been drawing on them passionately and playfully; more than I could have dreamed of for those notebooks.
There was a time I hoarded lipsticks, stickers and markers. Now I make sure to use them all and only hoard beautiful moments, capturing them with my camera.
I love your post and those cute spoons!
julie said…
lisa, i am also one of those who keeps the best bite for last :).
this description of you also seems to fit in with your art - a link to time, sentiment.. maybe im wrong.
i used to be more of a hoarder - i think the big thing today are the digital photos for me too. i have to keep every moment..because i can. xxx
gracia said…
That is one very lovely and very perfect looking red tomato... and I am all for saving the best bite until the very last; for me it is almost a little game... a challenge to select the perfect ending.

Happy days to you, Lisa... xo
Katrina said…
i love this post! yes, i have to fight-off the collector in me so that i can manage to live in urban apartments with enough breathing room. marrying a minimalist helped too. but there is something so precious about careful collections and precision...i adore them. super post...and those spoons are fantastic.
caramela said…
I confess- I haven't visited your blog for a while because at some point I just sat down and read as much of it as I could...!- Then I was off reading here , there and everywhere and today I took a peak and I realised how wonderful your writing really is!
As far as 'hoarding', I am the opposite, I throw things out on every possible occasion, I have garage sales etc-It was a practical thing because I have moved alot and with four cabs along you want to do it light! But because you write so well , you are about to 'seduce me ' into becoming a hoarder, but I will resist!!
Have fun,
shari said…
when t eats something that he really loves, he eats more slowly. usually, i finish minutes ahead of him.

what i've been noticing lately is actually the opposite...those moments that cannot be captured in a photograph b/c the photograph would take something away from the experience. i.e. the little bit about the waxwings i posted. i am finding myself so interested in this.

beautiful tomato.thanks for sharing your ideas. xo
Charity Grace said…
I'm not really a hoarder, but when I get something tidy and organized...the kitchen, a closet or cabinet...I go back and look at it over and over. Maybe it's because so many parts of my life are disorganized!
gracia said…
Chini and mcnulty in your recent post look to be living the good life... best make that the very, very good life. I am enjoying catching up on your blog and some blogging in general.

Hope you are tangled up in a good week and get to emulate the pose of relaxed and lolling cat for a brief or lengthy spell.

take care, g xo
life in yonder said…
Oh my. You have just described me. But much better than I could ever do. In May I cleaned out my mothers attic which had boxes and boxes of stuff that I have never had the heart to get rid. Together with a lot of other 80's things I found Hello Kitty erasers. I have saved them for Astrid when she gets older. My Hubby doesn't share my need to hoard and I have had to give/recycle/throw away lots of things since I met him (it is an ongoing process). My way of "surviving" has been to take photos of the things. That way they stay with me in my mental world and I can relive the memories they trigger, the smells and the emotions.
amisha said…
this post resonated with me so much, lisa. just kept nodding... i totally save stuff (um, fabric-- becoming a problem-- i can't bear to cut it up!) and save the best bite for last. it's both appealing and disturbing... i like the idea of savoring a special little thing but yes, you can stop yourself from using/ enjoying stuff... plus my mom is a hoarder (she's getting better now but there have been times when her siblings had to intervene-- dramatic stuff) and when i see those tendencies in myself i get scared. then i start clearing things out with a vengeance! :) thank you for this thought provoking post as always... xox

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