Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: broken glass

broken glass


decorated the tree this evening
another glass ornament fell to pieces
first decorations from our first Christmas
becoming fewer each year

Marja-Leena | 16/12/2008 | 13 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Found Objects, Photoworks


Something that we all empathize with, I'm sure! I think that all of the glass ornaments from our early married days are broken now.

I tend to buy hardier ornaments these days . . . what with the cat scaling the tree every time he gets the chance!

There is at least some aesthetic dignity in a broken ornament. Compare this with the ancient baubles I recently attached to our exterior tree. They were bought during a period of extreme financial stringency and are not even glass. Because the exterior tree is subject to howling gales coming in from the Black Mountains in Wales, the decorations jiggle about and this results in patches of wear developing on the covering surfaces - revealing the grey plastic base. I could of course replace them but inertia rather than sentimentality acts as a brake. I tell myself that that tree and ornaments have only a minimal function during the daytime and that they come into their own after dark when the lights are on. The story of my life. More effort spent on rationalising a defect rather than rectifying it.

And then there were none, and our children bond to the more recently-bought decorations and take them with them.

For our part, we deliberately purged a half dozen that made no sense to keep.

Ruthless Christmas...

Aw, it's sad to lose those lively glass balls. I think we had some when I was a child, but they didn't survive past my college years I think. I have only a couple of breakable ornaments, ceramics, but nothing as fragile as the glass ones. They remind me of ribbon candy. But at least when that breaks, you can eat it. :-)

Ah, yes -- the fragility of memories. Loss is inevitable, but no less painful.

Thanks for the birthday greetings! Much appreciated.

Bee, we do have less fragile ornaments like Scandinavian straw ones, Austrian brass stars, little wooden angels and toys and tiny knit or sewn things. Thankfully no cat, but when the grandchildren were babies we kept only the latter soft non-breakable things on the lowest branches.

Barrett, the tree sounds great at night, and that's what counts, eh. Purging will come when the mood hits, or how about painting them?

Black Pete, purging some of our cheaper ornaments that were more for the children have gradually been disposed of here as well. My parent's old decorations were divided between the children, ourselves and charity.

Leslee, I think the glass ornaments were more popular earlier on in the 50's to the early 70's. I've really enjoyed collecting a number of handmade ones of wood or fiber over the years.

Kate, fragility of memories - I like that. And it's the time of year for a lot of that, isn't it?!

But you made a gorgeous image of it's broken-ness!

herhimnbryn, thanks! Do you remember I did the same with a broken bowl?

I was finishing my tree decorating today and I manage to bust one too. I have another one where I drop it one year. Just managed to put a hole in it and I just face the hole towards the wall.

Oh dear! That looks very much like some of the hand-painted balls we put up, family heirlooms. Impossible to replace.

Cathy, it happens to us all. In this case the little cap with the loop just slipped out, letting the ball fall. And I've got one of those with a hole in the back too.

Dave, really? We bought the set in a town in northeast BC in our first Christmas of wedded life, so not sure it's quite that valuable. Nice thought though. Maybe some of my parents ornaments might be.

A sad loss of something treasured and fragile but, now, not entirely wasted.

Joe, the blog is a great place to save an image for prosperity, isn't it?