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Form & Function?

It's guest-posty time! We're talking about dust-collectors, nic nacs and other domestic space invaders....

Lucy here, from Diminishing Lucy. Hello.

I am not a fan of too much clutter. I had far too many knick knacks and dusting duties as a child, and when I left home, I left it all behind. And never accumulated anything more of the cluttery ornamental nature.

I moved to Australia 15 years ago with nothing more than a backpack and when the lovely husband and I shacked up together, I bought no knickery knackery with me. An envelope of old family photos was about it.

I have no need.

I like my surfaces clean and bare.

I like to feel unencumbered.

I do not like the weight on my conscience of heirlooms or memento. In my heart, or on my housekeeping list.

So when I was given this, this gorgeous thing, you can imagine how stunned I was, stunned that I fell in love, with a bit of soap stone.

These shona stone sculptures are one of the most popular emerging African art forms. The figures show many family members, who all merge together at various points, symbolizing the unity and shared spirit of the family unit.

My lovely husband bought this piece for me. I have no idea where from. But I do remember why.

It was around the time of the peak of my utter desperation over our unexplained fertility.

Years of trying to conceive, without joy.

I was slipping into a hopeless spiral of doubt and bleakness.

He, that lovely husband of mine, was totally optimistic, always.

He gave this "Ukama" sculpture to me, with a promise, the he would indeed give me all the babies I ever wanted.

With the promise we would share the family we both so desperately craved.

I believed him.

The soapstone, its cool smoothness, its simplicity, gave me hope, all the time.

And now, years later, I have my three beautiful children. (And one other baby that is not of this earth.)

So this soapstone thing, this "dust collector" still holds pride of place. It is my only ornament.

It represents hope. It shows me that optimism can overcome so much, and that, sometimes, just sometimes, a beautiful thing that has no apparent function or purpose, probably does. Really.

If for no other reason than it has the power to lift a sad heart.

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