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Odd, the Connections We Make With Things

Updated on February 12, 2014

Design Elements That Captivate My Attention

It's odd that certain items should capture my interest, and this article discusses and illustrates some of those connections between me and several of my belongings.

Many of them, like the lamp base pictured here in several photographs, have no obvious sentimental or actual value to me. i may possess the objects only in photographs.

My home is not cluttered, but as a working artist I do accumulate objects that pique my interest as possible imagery for my artwork, and the glass lamp is one of those that I hold onto, while wondering.

ALL Photographs © Leslie Sinclair - NO USE PERMITTED

Seldom do I evaluate the whats and whys of their significance, and that of several photographs I've taken and saved in my digital collection. To meet this writing challenge I've decided to concentrate on an old secondhand lamp base, as I've often been puzzled about its significance to me.

I acquired it at an small estate sale following the death of a neighbor of whom I made the acquaintance only in passing. She had moved in solely to spend her last months in a setting near her grown children's families.

Please read along and let me know at the end if you find my reasoning odd.

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SQUIDOO WRITERS - earn points with QUIZZES at bottom.

Photograph Above © 2013 Leslie Sinclair - NO USE PERMITTED All Rights Reserved

Solid Glass Connection To The Past

© 2013 Leslie Sinclair - NO USE PERMITTED

All Rights Reserved

When my eyes lit on this little solid glass lamp I was hooked. Maybe it's an association of age - we both have little dings and nicks, both transparent to the core. Even the old worn external wiring feels like home, no high tech way about it.

In the subsequent illustrations you'll learn of the associations I make between myself and all the images. Let me know what they mean to you.

Bond Between Lamp & Childhood Tracks

Photograph © 2013 Leslie Sinclair - NO USE PERMITTED

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Intersections With The Future

During a recent visit to my favorite home town of childhood I walked across the intersection where the main street meets the ferry dock, and up sprang memories of the simple freedom for small town raised kids in the 1950s,''

From our cottage home it was an easy walk down the long humble street, sans sidewalks, to our train tracks. Since our house perched within eyesight of the tracks that border the beach we felt a sense of ownership. In our child's hearts we possessed a beach on Puget Sound, the tracks, and the neighboring swamp, rife with blackberries and cattails, on the open land leading up to our place.

Glancing Down The Tracks Into The Future

When I look down the simple lines of the tracks it conjures up feelings of possibilities, of expectations, of unbounded opportunities in our futures. Recognizing the effect of that recent act of setting foot on the plank crossing again, I pictured the linkage of brother and sister whose adventures often began with a trek to the south on these very tracks.

This is the picture of a secure and peaceful life in a town of 3,000 pretty homogeneous inhabitants. Kids, were up and fed on a Summer morning, and off on unchaperoned adventures until hunger called us home, unless we stuffed lunch into our pockets - in which case we might ramble all day.

As I looked through my photographs I noticed that the ones that I gravitated towards shared some compositional attributes in common. Linear perspective is prominent and I believe I've found the common bond between them and the glass lamp.

Here's a Glass Table Lamp

Gable Table Lamp
Gable Table Lamp

If you also enjoy the look and feel of a charming glass table lamp, this is one I would buy. It reminds me of a lovely old vase I have on my bookcase.

 

Looking Up - Like At A Lamp Or A Tree

Along the lines of the lamp and the tracks extending into the future are the lines of this television tower. It stands high up on the city's highest hill. Recently I had occasion to walk on the sidewalk below the tower and, with time on my hands, I found myself looking around.

Intending only to follow the gaze of the trees next to me to their tops, I noticed the lines of the tower and got out my camera. The lines easily link with the stands of trees in the forest where I often hike.

What a soothing feeling, to follow my gaze along the tree trunks and the tower legs, to the sky to the common thread of all these images - the future.

Photograph © 2013 Leslie Sinclair - NO USE PERMITTED

All Rights Reserved

Another Sort of Line Towards The Future

Photograph © 2013 Leslie Sinclair - NO USE PERMITTED

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Some years ago the complex in which I lived was undergoing renovation, causing serious disruption to tenants' lives. I took a series of photographs of warning cones that were displayed prominently around the building, and used many of those images in oil paintings.

Now it's evident, the connection between the lines of the cones and the lamp and other images I show here. It's fitting too, the significance of the warnings that alert us to the possibility of changes in the directions of our futures.

More Than The Composition Intrigues Me

Photograph © 2013 Leslie Sinclair - NO USE PERMITTED

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We can take those advisory caution cones, guard arms on the railway crossings, the dizzying feeling of gazing up at the tallest tower, the broken light bulb, as occasions to lock ourselves up behind the habits of tradition, or we might opt to break the locks, and use them to turn us in new directions.

8.5 in. Pond Lily Mantelabra Accent Lamp (Pink)
8.5 in. Pond Lily Mantelabra Accent Lamp (Pink)

This is a lamp like mine, in that the glass parts look stunning both on the metal base and separately in an arrangement.

 
Carlson Pet Products Design Studio Extra Tall Metal Wood Expandable Pet Gate
Carlson Pet Products Design Studio Extra Tall Metal Wood Expandable Pet Gate

Top design in an expandable gate that puts my green gate in the photo above to shame. It doesn't even need a padlock.

 

The Light Switch Makes The Connection

Photograph © 2013 Leslie Sinclair - NO USE PERMITTED

All Rights Reserved

Cautionary signs, protective locks, if implemented often enough, can prevent us from exploring the oddities we might notice, if give the opportunity to flip the switch.

One of the things I like about this old glass lamp is the simple push-switch that controls the light. Broken light bulbs resemble cones - both of them bearing the potential for growth and change. We can up the wattage in the bulb, replace it with a variety of colors, or leave the burned out bulb in to hold up the shade, and continue straight down the tracks, missing countless opportunities for exploration.

My preference is to replace the bulb with a brighter one so I can see my options with greater clarity.

Age and Vitality Simply Combine

Photograph © 2013 Leslie Sinclair - NO USE PERMITTED

All Rights Reserved

Even bereft of bulb and lampshade the object bears interest. Soon the day will come that these old fashioned push switches will be relegated to the attic (if, indeed, attics are still on the landscape at that time, once the R-levels are pushed to the heights for home insulation).

I'm coming close to finding greater pleasure in the photograph of the bare fixture than in the functional item itself, so soon its traditional function may also be a thing of the past.

All things

look new

when seen

from

a fresh

perspective

A Different Perspective Provides A Novel Use

Photograph © 2013 Leslie Sinclair - NO USE PERMITTED

All Rights Reserved

During childhood it seemed like my life was heading along a traditional path. Women's roles were still pretty firmly defined, based on the pre-WWII standards. In that sense I expected to match the customary use for a traditional lamp, upright and lighting the home.

But that clarity of being could only remain traditional for so long, and eventually my life mirrored the overturning of the lamp base, to form a dish on a pedestal, as shown here.

Lines To Our Futures In Perspective

Do you make the connections with the lines in the lamp and the train tracks that I do?

Yes, I see a real parallel here, and this is how...!

Yes, I see a real parallel here, and this is how...!

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    • lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      @changrcoacher: I'm contemplating how I've reached a point where I'm not embarrassed to talk about my good old days of childhood. The comparison with so much of our western world's urban scene is unspeakable.

    • changrcoacher 4 years ago

      I'm not sure...I'm so engrossed tracking (no pun) your poetic words and pictorial journey.. sort of a dizzzing experience...seeing these thing thru your eyes. I imagine they are connected in time; a simpler time.

    Oh no, my life is pretty well wrapped up and boxed.

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      • lesliesinclair 4 years ago

        @David Stone1: I get that, yet it all depends on our perspectives, doesn't it Dave. It surprised me how I began to see common objects and sights differently and more personally, once I began studying art, at age 43.

      • David Stone 4 years ago from New York City

        No, train tracks are so powerful on their own they become solitary symbols of freedom and hobo opportunity.

      Expand your vision

      beyond

      the rails on

      the tracks

      of your life

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      Earn Some Points By Taking These Quizzes

      What Are Your Thoughts About My Ideas? Sound Odd to You?

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          lesliesinclair 3 years ago

          @rob-hemphill: That means we're the lucky ones. It's a sure thing that I never get bored - bet you don't either.

        • rob-hemphill profile image

          Rob Hemphill 3 years ago from Ireland

          Nothing odd at all! I'm like you - perhaps it's the artists/photographers eye at work, interesting lens.

        • rob-hemphill profile image

          Rob Hemphill 3 years ago from Ireland

          Nothing odd at all! I'm like you - perhaps it's the artists/photographers eye at work, interesting lens.

        • lesliesinclair profile image
          Author

          lesliesinclair 4 years ago

          @changrcoacher: Funny you should say that. I just returned from an experience in a dental chair, and I wished I had my camera in my lap so I could photograph the light (the one they grab and pull up close) because the light reflected and shadowed on it gave the dull beige plastic a golden glow on one side.

        • profile image

          changrcoacher 4 years ago

          No. You are blessed (?) with seeing more and feeling more....thank you for sharing your gifts

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          Sherry Venegas 4 years ago from La Verne, CA

          I love connections, and the more wiggley they are the better.

        • lesliesinclair profile image
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          lesliesinclair 4 years ago

          @DebMartin: I so love it when I make a connection like the one I describe here about the tracks and the future.

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          DebMartin 4 years ago

          No not odd at all. I love making connections like these. My writing is often full of connections.

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          lesliesinclair 4 years ago

          @mel-kav: At times I think I learn more from those associations than from other people.

        • mel-kav profile image

          mel-kav 4 years ago

          It definitely is not odd. I find myself making connections to things also - although I never really pondered the concept. Very interesting.

        • David Stone1 profile image

          David Stone 4 years ago from New York City

          Artists make the same symbolic connections as everyone else, but they have more of them and are more aware of what they have. That's the over story I got.

        • lesliesinclair profile image
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          lesliesinclair 4 years ago

          @SheilaMilne: That's courageous of you to say, and I enjoy hearing it.

        • SheilaMilne profile image

          SheilaMilne 4 years ago from Kent, UK

          I like the directions your thoughts go!