My Soul Objects
Marking the passage of time is a peculiar human habit in many ways. Anniversaries of births, deaths and marriages, as though one day suddenly shifts meaning and marks milestones differently from another. I’ve been reflecting on it a lot lately as we approach one year on since my mum passed away. In some ways I know the actual date will bring with it it’s own sorrow and contemplation, but in others I know I will strive to find comfort and meaning in more tangible things, in objects I have inherited (not just from her, but also from other family members) – her coat that I wear to walk the dog, her recipe for a favourite family snack.
It made me think about the objects that feel part of our soul, as though without them we have somehow lost a part of ourselves, but in reality it’s the memories we attach to them rather than the objects themselves, they are serving as a memento mori of sorts.
Since the beginning of lockdown I have returned to the world of photography, partly as a new outlet for the creativity that was stifled, partly as desire to capture on camera some of these soul objects more perfectly than I previously could.
So today I begin a new series, a combination of learning my new creative outlet of photography, but also to document the objects that make up me – from childhood to now, new, old, borrowed or bought.
#mysoulobjects is a project that I invite you all to take part in – regardless of photography skill, I’d love to see and read about the memories surrounding objects that have helped make you you.
I shall aim to do this weekly, beginning with these, My Grandmother’s scales – or should I say Great-Grandmother’s – I’m fairly sure I remember my Great-Grandmother using them to measure our the ingredients for her famous Irish soda bread when I was very small, probably 5 or 6. But latterly they were a staple of my Grandmother’s kitchen as she continued the bread making tradition.
My sisters and I would play with them endlessly, always trying to make the scales balance perfectly, cherishing the feel of the small smooth and heavy brass weights in our hands. Inexplicably there is an extra weight that won’t fit into the grooves in the base – probably from some long-ago older broken or lost set of scales.
I love these scales, even though they no longer serve a function in my kitchen (except when my digital scales ran out of battery this week and I needed to measure our a weight of dried marigolds for the dye pot!), and I couldn’t bear for our family to part with them.
I’d love for you to share your soul objects – they might be old, new, beautiful or ugly – but I’d love to know the stories behind them and what they mean for you.
Just tag me @katecullenstyle on Instagram and use the hashtag #mysoulobjects to join in.