12 More Days of Significance (11)
January 4, 2017
One in a holiday-season series of posts that will reprint stories written — by 12 HILOBROW contributors — for the 2009–2010 SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS project. (In 2012–2013, we reprinted 12 stories by HILOBROW contributors that were also to be found in the Fantagraphics-published collection Significant Objects: 100 Extraordinary Stories About Ordinary Things.)
The following story is by Katie Hennessey. Enjoy!
This little statue stood on the window sill in my favorite aunt’s front hall. Perched between plants of varying shapes and sizes, surrounded by shards of broken pottery and miniature ceramic elephants from the Red Rose Tea box, dappled with sunlight shining through the leaded glass figures of St. Francis in his garden and the mossy Celtic Cross, the woodland creature stood by her cauldron, day after day, night after night, for all the years of my childhood.
Indistinct at first, her jack-knived features came, for me, to represent benevolence itself. What was she cooking, there in her pot? Was it a witches’ brew of bark and herbs, meant to quell my fears and slow my speeding thoughts? Was it essential oils, drawn from petals and seeds, distilled into droplets and lovingly collected to act as a salve, summoning spirits long forgotten to soothe my aching unconscious?
I wondered who had made her, and of what type of wood. No one seemed to know. Was her burlap outfit, glued together and barely hemmed, some sort of disguise?
My aunt put holy water in the cup on special occasions, but from time to time my uncle used it as a shot glass. To each his own, I guess.
SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS at HILOBROW: PROJECT:OBJECT homepage | PROJECT:OBJECT newsletter | PROJECT:OBJECT objects | POLITICAL OBJECTS series | TALISMANIC OBJECTS series | SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS website | SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS collection, ed. Rob Walker and Josh Glenn (Fantagraphics, 2012) | TAKING THINGS SERIOUSLY, ed. Josh Glenn (Princeton Architectural Press, 2007) | PINAKOTHEK by Luc Sante | KEEPERS by Steph Burt | MUSEUM OF FEMORIBILIA by Lynn Peril | 12 DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE by Significant Objects | 12 MORE DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE by Significant Objects.
CURATED SERIES at HILOBROW: PINAKOTHEK by Luc Sante | ALL MY STARS by Joanne McNeil | BIGFOOT ISLAND by Michael Lewy | NOT OF THIS EARTH by Michael Lewy | ANIMAL MAGNETISM by Colin Dickey | KEEPERS by Steph Burt | AMERICA OBSCURA by Andrew Hultkrans | HEATHCLIFF, FOR WHY? by Brandi Brown | DAILY DRUMPF by Rick Pinchera | BEDROOM AIRPORT by “Parson Edwards” | INTO THE VOID by Charlie Jane Anders | WE REABSORB & ENLIVEN by Matthew Battles | BRAINIAC by Joshua Glenn | COMICALLY VINTAGE by Comically Vintage | BLDGBLOG by Geoff Manaugh | WINDS OF MAGIC by James Parker | MUSEUM OF FEMORIBILIA by Lynn Peril | ROBOTS + MONSTERS by Joe Alterio | MONSTOBER by Rick Pinchera | POP WITH A SHOTGUN by Devin McKinney | FEEDBACK by Joshua Glenn | 4CP FTW by John Hilgart | ANNOTATED GIF by Kerry Callen | FANCHILD by Adam McGovern | BOOKFUTURISM by James Bridle | NOMADBROW by Erik Davis | SCREEN TIME by Jacob Mikanowski | FALSE MACHINE by Patrick Stuart | 12 DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE by Significant Objects | 12 MORE DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE by Significant Objects | H IS FOR HOBO by Joshua Glenn | 4CP FRIDAY by guest curators