Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lost things



There is a bowl on my dresser in which I keep lost things.

I find them in the strangest places; sidewalk cracks, road side grass ditches, parks, supermarket parking lots, under leaves or scribbling graffiti on public restroom stalls. Some are just pieces of a greater whole, others just unwanted anymore. Some forgotten. Some dropped. Most of them are just lost and seldom cast shadows.

I put them in my pocket to carry around, feeling their edges like puzzle pieces to see where they fit. They rarely fit anywhere, so at the end of the day they join the rest in the grey and red domicile of lost things.

My boys find it fascinating to dump them on the bed, a small pile we pick through. They hold them to the light looking for clues on what they might go to.

We make up stories on whom they belong to, giving them fantastical names. A spring obviously came from a low flying observational platform of scientists from some distant planet. The scientists have long necks due to gravitational differences in our astrological locations.

A button from the coat of a pirate, because the beach is only 4 hours away and he might have took a wrong turn. A ball once played with by the queen of a colony of ants. The arm of a toy soldier. A note, I have never opened. A thimble, a bent tie tack, microchip key chain, a ring, all sorts of amazing things.

Every once in a while when we are telling their stories once more to them we notice that one or more is missing. This is a reason for celebration so we serve ice cream and soda and dance until our feet hurt. All the remaining lost things line up for a parade and we bang on the bedposts to add a little music, for we like to dream that one more lost thing has found its way home again.

Theirs are our most favorite stories of all.

imperfect prose

94 comments:

Bonnie said...

Gosh ... you should write fairy tales and children's books TOO! Or ... are you already? :)

You 'pirated' me away there for a while!

Bossy Betty said...

I just loved this! My favorite is a finding treasures like this in books--a slip of paper used as a bookmark or an appointment card. Sets my mind reeling!

Suz said...

ah you are nurturing future writers
sneaky

Cinner said...

Brian what a wonderful post. love that you do this with your children. I agree you could write books. What I like about this is the fact that they are using their imaginations. your a wonderful father. It must be exciting when your all together.

Laurie Kolp said...

Brian- I feel as if there are so many layers within your talent... this one reveals yet another facet to your creativity. Heartwarming and imaginative... your boys are lucky.

Ruthiey said...

I love this - "Some forgotten. Some dropped. Most of them are just lost and seldom cast shadows."

This post is smile-worthy. :)

David Allen Waters said...

this brings a smile....my mum and I did the same thing, but only with pennies...I still have the giant glass jar filled with them, we never spent them. I do the same today, but now when I find them I feel like they are hugs from mum...

a wonderful write my friend.

TALON said...

Loved this bowl of lost things, Brian.

Evelyn said...

Brian, I do believe this is my favorite thing you have written.
especially the ending. but they whole thing really, you see, I do the same thing, altho I am mainly focused on keys. Lost keys or keychains make me so sad...
"A note, I have never opened."
how could you NOT open it????

Cheryl said...

Awesome activity. Loses nothing in the telling.

Jodi said...

Gosh, I loved this. I recently mailed my two-year-old grand daughter a treasure box, hand painted by a friend, to keep her treasures in. She has an eye for lost things. When we Skype together, she shows me her box, holds up each item, kisses it, and puts it back. Special times make the distance shorter.

Jinksy said...

I think I need to go and take a look as my collection of 'lost things', too -'cept most of mine have appeared in my home, but are none the less unrecogiseable as to what they are/were, or whence they came! LOL

HopeUnbroken said...

after reading Emily's post first, i am left imagining all kinds of lost things (ones) finding their way home. . . and you're making me cry.
darn you :-)

Pat Hatt said...

Yes it's fun to make up stories behind little things
Great you pull their imagination strings
Can only help in the years to come
Being happy and not glum

Heaven said...

I like the story you weaved. Lost and found things (great details), giving impetus to their stories as well.

It is great to nurture the creative minds of our children; who knows what they will create in the future.

Love the ending lines:
"All the remaining lost things line up for a parade and we bang on the bedposts to add a little music, for we like to dream that one more lost thing has found its way home again.

Theirs are our most favorite stories of all."

Happy day ~

Rambling Heather said...

WoW you have such talent with words.

Mrsupole said...

I too keep containers for lost things. My hubby brings them home all the time. Plus I find so many lost things in the house and have no clue as to what they go to.

Lots of hours of great fun for you and the boys. I too agree that you should write a book about the stories of the lost things. Kids would love it.

God bless.

Alan Burnett said...

Just like a minus times a minus is a plus, a lost times a lost is a found.

farmlady said...

Lost things found and reinvented in the imagination of you and your sons. What a gift!

Daniel said...

Lovely sentiment here today. Bravo.

Eva Gallant said...

Oh, that was sweet!

Pseudo said...

I feel this, deep down in my insides. Awesome piece.

Sue said...

This piece made me feel the same way Peter Pan does.

And I like that feeling!

=)

Kim Nelson said...

Brian, This reads like a short story, a fable, a proverb. Perhaps it could grow into one, with amazing illustrations...

Elaine said...

Glad there is One who seeks and saves that which is lost. Blessings

Cathy said...

I feel buoyant after reading this. And how wondrous, these unwanted, lost and forgotten things resurrected in a child's imagination...

I Live in an Antbed said...

Love it!! Cultivation of imagination is glorious!! Glorious! What great fun. :)

ayala said...

This one is magical :)

JStar said...

Brian, You amaze me with each post...Your mind is endless and displays so much creativity...

ladyfi said...

Oh - I love the joy and imaginative power of this piece!

Maggie May said...

So thats what happens to all my lost earrings!
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Lisa notes... said...

I used to have a collection of broken pieces, things I would one day fix. Alas, they might as well join your parade.

Whosyergurl said...

I am always on the look-out for lost things. I use them in my art! Sometimes it is just what I need to make something complete. Some kind of synchronicity, I like to think.
Cheryl

e said...

What a lovely way to help your boys develop their creativity!

Fred said...

Brian, this was amazing, really. Not even the prose itself, which was very good, but the concept you play with your kids, that's just great. I'm gonna start doing something like this when my niece gets a little older, something to help spark her creativity early, that will hopefully never leave her. Not to mention it just has to be a blast in and of itself.

I've done something like this before, when I used to work in Jersey I use to take the $5 bus into the City and I would see all these people on the subway there, which I would make up stories in my head about their backgrounds etc... Which has been a great developmental tool for doing character bios, and again, it was fun. Sorry for the extended comment, but I'm sure you know that if I get going I keep going. Thanks for the write

Magpie said...

Brian, are you willing to adopt? I mean I'm old enough to get cheap rates on your insurance, but young enough to still help out with housework. :)
I love the way you share life with your boys.

Goofball said...

so fun to be so imaginative


I'm afraid my pragmatic side takes over the imaginative one, so I want to know if you keep collecting & gathering without ever throwing out some of that stuff yourself?

Ed Pilolla said...

this is magical and a peek into the divine, seems to me. here you are making new worlds with each other. this is something i could try. it sounds like a lot of fun, and it's written in that playful voice. nice.

Monkey Man said...

Working the imagination. Great game for kids in this age of mind numbing video games.

lori said...

How can the note remain unopened? I want to know what's inside, and I don't even have it in my possession, lol. You do realize that you are making memories those boys will cherish forever. Perhaps they will continue the tradition of looking for "lost thing" and celebrating when they are found again. This is a favorite for sure, a little poetical prose to brighten all of our days :)

drybottomgirl said...

This is one of my favoriet pieces that I have read by you. I have always had a soft spot for lost little treasures, and have a pile of strange pieces in my jewelry box. I once carried a found button in my coat pocket for a year just because I thought it was pretty. I'm glad so many things have found a home with you and your family :)

emily wierenga said...

i think this is one of my favorites of yours yet. i love how you drew us into your personal life, into the minds and hearts of your boys, into the curve of the bowl filled with lost things. beautiful, brian.

Rachel Hoyt said...

I love this idea! I might have to start my own jar. :)

-t- said...

love it; wonderful write! all the moreso as it is your true story :)

and when the lost have found their way again, of course a celebration! and to think you too are 'serving ice cream and soda and dancing until your feet hurt' :)

LadyCat said...

Very magical! This brings to mind the 'Island of Misfit Toys', from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

YAY! Good ending! I love the stories of lost things and the adventures of them being found most of all!

Daydreamertoo said...

Fabulous. What a wonderful pastime to share with your boys. To turn people's lost things into untold adventures that their minds can take to any place anytime.
What a simply fabulous read Brian!

Pat said...

Sometimes I struggle to understand your poems because, well, honestly I don't understand MANY poems, but this, THIS I understand. How sweet. I really enjoyed this!

Myrna R. said...

This is one of those that taps imaginations - not just your boys but the readers imaginations as well.

Hope all lost things find their way home.

DJan said...

Yayy! Can I request you as a parent in my next lifetime? What a treat it would be to have YOU as a dad.

Mighty M said...

My kids have a ton of "treasures" lying around...they love to collect them!

sheila said...

Wow, I think this one might be the most enjoyable one I've read of yours yet. LOVED it! I can literally picture the scene in my mind, beautiful!

Mama Zen said...

This touched me so much!

Vicki Lane said...

That's a poet's job -- to find lost things and explain them to us.

ds said...

Wonderful! Everything has a story to tell; what a gift to give your boys (imagination, and a moral lesson). I'll bet your mom found all sorts of things in your pockets when you were growing up.

I hope those lost things did make it home, and that The Borrowers didn't get them...

Dianne said...

Ah, the keeping of lost things is an honorable task, as is the naming. For then it is no longer lost,
just like you, Brian.
Hope you are well, thanks for checking in after I was lost from blogland for awhile.

Keep looking!
Dianne

Margie said...

Brian, this is one of my favorites!
Makes me miss those days with my son when he was a young boy ...he would come home from school and tell me wonderful stories about his day.

I so loved this!
Thank you!

Margie :)

Margie said...

Oh, meant to say, this is magical!
You are blessed!

Connie@raise your eyes said...

Brian the bard with layers deep stories and dancing feet...love it!

Shaunie @ Up the Sunbeam said...

What a delicious, fanciful post!! It completely came alive and I could see the long-necked scientists, the pirate missing a button off his coat, and the ant queen playing ball! May I join the celebratory parade?

Slamdunk said...

Great idea Brian. I like the thought of stirring creativity in young minds. Our finds are either rocks or bones that our put in the backyard or some treasure that the older boy attaches value based on what Google or Ebay tells him.

Anthony Desmond said...

Man, amazingness from the 1st word to the last... what a story

Claudia said...

gosh why didn't you open the note..i would die of curiosity...sounds like a lot of fun, inventing these stories... the dancing made me smile...and the finding home again made me sigh..see i went through all kinds of emotions...smiles. think i should start to collect lost things as well..

♥ Braja said...

Right. So it's YOU who has my keys????

♥ Braja said...

Yeah, you should *all* write fairytales together :)

Valerie said...

Truly and fantastically brilliant, Brian. You already know that I love your longer pieces and this one comes top of the list. Excellent!

SueAnn said...

I traveled with you and the boys! I loved looking at your lost things!
And what fun..to celebrate when one you have guarded comes up missing!!
So cool!
Hugs
SueAnn

Lorraine said...

this is so inspiring Brian you're such an excellent writer and better yet a great dad :)

Zuzana said...

Dear Brian, what a lovely post to return to after my long absence.;)
So uplifting, gentle and optimistic - makes me believe that nothing is ever lost, as it might find its way to a family like yours.;)
Hope life is treating you well, missed your writing.;)
xoxo

5thsister said...

Love it! Now, search through your stash for the sapphire and diamond engagement ring that has gone missing from my jewelry box...the place I was storing it for safekeeping (it kept falling off my finger from my weight loss)

the walking man said...

If only all lost treasures could be found at home eh? Nicer world presented.

Life with Kaishon said...

Oh my goodness.
You astound me.
When, oh when, are you going to write a book?
I will be the first in line.
Or maybe the 72nd.
Awesome to the nth degree.

Heather said...

ok, you need to write a children's book - about "lost things" This is my new favorite! You sound like a great dad!

Tulika Verma said...

This is so wonderful Brian! I love doing that too...finding stories in tiny little things...

PattiKen said...

I love this. And I especially love the key to fantastic worlds you have given to your boys by nourishing their imaginations. They will never be bored.

Carrie Burtt said...

Oh the many treasures we find in life....this story is one of them....i just love this Brian!!

flaubert said...

Brian, ok, I'll try to comment again. I love the last stanza, it ties up the piece nicely.

Pamela

AmyLK said...

such a lovely story and thing to do with the boys. All lost things find their way home eventually.

Jen said...

What springs from those lost things that perhaps are not so lost anymore, now that they have a story for a home. Beautiful, Brian!

Anna said...

I loved this, so poignant, really touched me... a parade of lost things that have come home is a beautiful image. So many lost things and people in this world.

william said...

great post mate, reminds me of the things we really treasure the most but put them away and forget about them.. hope you are well :)

Help! Mama Remote... said...

While talk about something to do.with your boys. :-) they can pass it down to their children.

Tina said...

What a fun game! I can just see you all jumbled around on the bed having some sort of battle of miniature army men...lovely little piece of writing here, Bri.
Tina @ Life is Good

tracy said...

Lost things lost no longer. I want to come play at your house!

Joanna Jenkins said...

I'm loving this one, Brian. I can almost see you and your sweet family having fun with the treasures.

jj

Sophia said...

"and we bang on the bedposts to add a little music, for we like to dream that one more lost thing has found its way home again."

Crying here...makes me think of my dad who's almost "home"....

Nikki Rules said...

It's nice to know that if I ever lose my mind you'll be there to pick it up and pretend it's some pirate thing!

Haaar!

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

"Every once in a while when we are telling their stories once more to them we notice that one or more is missing..."
Hi! Brian...
Words that comes to mind:
An excellent weaver Of tales, family,sons,bed-time,poet,mother,
lost,found,items,discovered,
treasured,taken,brian,
and Thanks,for,sharing.
deedee ;-D

Nimue said...

Isn't it fun and fascinating to spin tales from one random object .. Loved reading this :)

secret agent woman said...

What a wonderful tradition. I have a small box of mementos that my kids like to go through and hear the stories connected with the objects.

Christine said...

I work at our local thrift shop in the sorting area, we find some very interesting stuff tucked inside purses, books, and pockets that someone has obviously forgotten about. Nice read, you are a great Dad!

Natasha said...

Well...this is rather strange...I have a hiding spot where I store such items for later reflection...my daughter has picked up the habit as well. Fantastical tales indeed arise from the funniest things...Good on you Dad!

Me said...

So glad that I found this, while I was playing catch up.

Love everything about this post.

Syd said...

I pick up things too. More natural things from the beach but also have a nut and bolt collection. I once found a clay pipe with a carved bowl on the beach. Cool stuff. Who smoked that?