The old and the new

“I hope 2017 will bring you beautiful things” I wrote to a friend on the first evening of the new year and he answered “2017 will be what we make of it”.

Earlier that new year’s day, when I was walking home through the city I chose to live in for no other reason than that it makes me smile to wake up in it under a blue sky, I found the first present of the year (not counting the wonderful start with old and new friends of course) lying on the side walk. It was covered in dirt and maybe that is why it was thrown out but I could see the beauty of it through the layer of filth.

First rough cleaning revealed the hidden patterns and after some love and care I will be able to house my collection of gifted, bought and orphaned single cups and glasses on it, among them a delicate moon bowl made by an artist who went on a journey to deliver it to me personally, a golden rimmed cup and saucer I found in the trash and reminds me of a special person, a Double Phoenix Japanese cup which was a birthday present from a dear friend, a ceramic cup I bought from an artist who’s work I like a lot and two orphaned pieces I picked up from the street, an engraved glass and a small cup depicting a house I wouldn’t mind living in.

2017 already brought me beautiful things and I will make it a year I feel at home in. A new year where the newness will be in looking at old things with new eyes. In cherishing old connections and making new ones. A year of staying and sinking in before undoubtedly there will be leaving and wandering once more. A year of using this new old tray and serve coffee and tea and wine and whisky to friends and strangers as often as possible.

Our life is what we make of it but we make it with the things and people we find on our paths. And the most interesting finds are the ones that seem to be plain or unattractive even but show a hidden beauty buried under layers of proper or improper use, layers of history and memories and traces left by others.

Nothing is really new. Or maybe everything is new all the time because we look at it from a changed perspective and a different constellation every moment. And of course this thought isn’t very new either. Marcel Proust already said it far more eloquently: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” It makes me realise that although my eyesight is getting worse, I start to see better through the years. It must be the continuing newness of getting older.

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