Small Carved Statue

Chinese scholar with abacus.  8 ½ inches high, heavy carved stone.

The most vexing family objects are those that have been around since your childhood and you forgot to ask about them before your parents died.

This little statue sat in our living room for years.  My father, an architect, designed our house, including steel-framed teak cabinet that covered one whole wall of the living room.  In the bottom were stereo speakers.  Above were shelves, artfully placed so as to make interesting niches.  The original wall behind the cabinet was covered with a green burlap which my parents mounted on panels.  Very modern, very DIY.

This little statue had a niche all to itself. In contrast to the flashier glass and carvings on display, the scholar kept his own counsel and tended to be overlooked.  I assume Daddy brought him home from the Pacific where he served in the war.  But I don’t know for sure. So the story is that there is no story.  Sort of sad…


  1. Cat Lazaroff says:

    I have a number of objects like this – some from members of my family, some from yard sales and estate sales, and most without a story.

    I keep them because they are interesting or beautiful or strange, but often because they evoke for me a place, a time, a person. In essence, those that come to me without stories make their own stories: they make memories surface, or wishes take shape, or dreams step a bit closer to reality.

    And as a writer, I love to keep objects without stories, because then I can make stories for them. This Chinese scholar seems destined to be a character in a story someday…

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