The Invisibles


Dear Reader, 

A home’s inhabitants can be anthropologically studied by the décor un-choices. What things are forgotten on walls? Dusty on shelves? Layered over cork boards, refrigerators and countertops? There is a hidden language spoken by these objects that have witnessed a family over the decades remaining entirely unseen in plain sight. A home absorbs these objects: never noticed, never attended to, woven into the fabric of the space. The Invisibles.

1. Wooden semi-circle painted with acrylic mauve tone floral spray hanging over an entryway to the railroad kitchen.

2. Rainbow thermometer suction-cupped to the outside kitchen window. Cloud image scratched off, yellow bleached to white: functioning.

3. Analog clock/dish/country house illustration mounted too close to the kitchen ceiling/above doorway: non-functioning.

4. Posh Spice sticker permanently adhered to microwave door. c.1995

5. Thin green glass + tin shamrocks configured in a larger circular shamrock hanging on window of back door, beneath perma-curtains.

6. Two tissue paper squares (yellow + green) taped to refrigerator side: remnants of the celebratory announcement that London would be hosting the 2012 Olympics. Imported UK c.2005

7. Rounded-corner square magnet 1”x1” photo of calico cat nap-embracing teddy bear in red bowtie. Orig. at Gram’s c. 1970

8. Sea shell (clam) with “mom” painted in blue, convex side; blue flower covering “mam” in blue, concave side.

The takeaway:

Appreciate the small things—the nearly invisible things—that bear witness to your life. Gratitude and lightness go a long, long way. 

Kathleen Cunningham