What I Shed Today

lightening up a little at a time


on July 1, 2014

Over years, leaves piled high in the lee of our back deck, and I let them because I didn’t want to tangle with the climbing rose that held sway over that territory. But this spring I finally trimmed the rose back. Ever since I’ve eyed those leaves as a source of garden mulch. While lifting them into the wheelbarrow, I felt the tines of the hay fork clink against something hard. Carefully I pulled the layers back and found … a thing.


Better, a box: about four inches tall, five wide and four deep, with a small rectangular opening in the top. It’s evidently hand-crafted of a light-colored ceramic with a stippled outer surface and green glaze. That said, I have no idea what it is. My guesses are doubtful and fail even to provoke more than a weak smile. A pencil cup? A quirky vase? —There, I told you so.

I suppose it was lost by a previous owner of the house. If it wasn’t carried there by a murder of crows.

Not all that long ago, I might have kept such a curiosity just because it was curious. (But I’ve received its gift of bemused wonder already, and may keep that in memory without sticking the object on a dusty shelf.) Having found it, I would have kept it because it was, obviously, now mine, assuring myself I’d find a use for it someday.

But today, I try to shed those attitudes. The artifact joined the stream of stuff sent to the thrift store. I hope someone will find it useful or believe it beautiful. I’m not compelled to. That freedom, I’m glad to find.

shedding style: give away
destination: thrift store

Comments welcome … guesses, anyone: what is this thing?


7 responses to “artifact

  1. Jack says:

    Given the location I’d wonder if it wasn’t some kind of plant pot, maybe?

  2. Julie Buhite says:

    Perplexing. Beautiful. Love the colors. I immediately thought of it as being a great pen holder. With the hole being smaller, it could actually keep them upright. Otherwise, I’m stumped. I imagine I shall be pondering its original use well into today.

    • revdarkwater says:

      It is a nice piece of playful work, or working play! It might have been made with no purpose in mind but to be. But my latest guess is a painter’s brush-holder.

      • Julie Buhite says:

        But then, how would you clean the container? — unless the brushes were always placed in there clean. And are there paint marks inside? It’s obvious that I’m taking this find of yours way too seriously. :)

  3. mom says:

    A salesman’s sample of a septic tank ?

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