Seven Treasures, Part 2: guest post by Rose Coloured’s Rebecca Rosenblum

 

Rebecca Rosenblum

Introduction to this series.

Rebecca Rosenblum’s fiction has been short-listed for the Journey Prize, the National Magazine Award, and the Danuta Gleed Award. Her collection Once won the Metcalf-Rooke Award and was one of Quill and Quire‘s 15 Books That Mattered in 2008. Her first chapbook, Road Trips, was published by Frogs Hollow Press in 2010. Her second collection, The Big Dream, was released from Biblioasis in 2011 and was recently long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize. Her blog is Rebecca Rosenblum: Rose Coloured at www.rebeccarosenblum.com

These are my seven treasures:

1.

A tiny florist’s card that says “You are awesome.” When my partner and I were first getting serious, I asked very tentatively if I could keep a small basket full of my toiletries in his bathroom. He said fine, and one weekend I left it there. A week later I opened the basket and there was the card on top of my deodorant. It made me feel so welcomed, and I still have it.

2.

A print of Mark Rothko’s Orange into Yellow. Yes, it’s just a print that I bought in an art shop, but it was a little expensive and I paid to have it mounted professionally, and then I carried this sizable and heavy piece home on the subway and from there on foot. It’s beautiful to look at, but the reason I love this specific print is that for a long time before I bought it I didn’t have money to spend on such indulgences, nor a home to put them in. When I finally did, I bought myself this wonderful present.

3.

A small double frame containing photographs of my mother and father as babies. I am very close to my parents but I still have a hard time imagining their existence before I knew them. And yet, those babies are so obviously them. It’s fun and funny to stare at them and realize they knew nothing about what was to come. Also, they are adorable.

4.

All my diaries — I’ve kept them on and off since I was about ten. I haven’t reread them, but I think I will want to someday. Honestly, right now I sort of squirm whenever I open them, but they feel like a resource waiting for a time when I’ll be ready for a little self-examination.

5.

The books I use for my public readings. Whenever I do readings, I ask the other readers at the event to sign the endpapers of my reading copies, so these become like yearbooks reminding me of acquaintances made and friendships renewed while promoting each book. Also, the reading copies go a lot of places with me in the bottom of my bag, get dropped and spilled on and generally well-loved — they look like they’ve lived a life. They are the best evidence I have that I’m an actual author, which still feels kind of fantastic to me.

6.

My spider plant. In grade 7, a friend of mine did a science-fair project that involved plants, and at the end she gave her subjects away. I got one, and twenty-one years later I still have it. I have carried it from apartment to apartment in three cities, and though it has had its bad times (including recently, when it’s been losing fights with the cat) it has always survived. I am proud I’ve been able to keep it alive so long, and it also feels a bit like a friend.

7.

My engagement ring. I know, I know — most jewellery store advertisements would say the same. But there is no tradition of engagement rings in my family; my mom didn’t have one and nor did my grandmothers or any other relative I knew. So I certainly wasn’t thinking about getting one — until I did. It’s much more wonderful to be engaged than to have a ring, obviously, but it’s pretty amazing to have a physical reminder on my person that symbolizes that fact. I love to look down and see it and remember that I’m going to have this ring and my husband for the rest of my life.

Did this post remind you of some of your treasures? Please share your thoughts in the Comments.

And check out Seven Treasures, Part 1: guest post by Carin Makuz.

 

Comments

  1. carin says:

    I love the way you look at your parents’ photos and imagine them knowing nothing of what’s to come. How else, but through a photo, could you even do that? So precious. And from that to a spider plant… which I can completely understand is not just ‘A’ spider plant. Very much enjoyed your seven!

    • Rebecca says:

      Thanks for your comment, Carin! It’s weird how obvious the present seems once it’s come to pass–how could they have *not* known, too, you know?

  2. Allyson Latta says:

    From Ann Walker, Santiago, Chile:

    “Great writing! I loved this piece.”

  3. Allyson Latta says:

    Carin Makuz has published a thoughtful blog post over at Matilda Magtree about writing her “Seven Treasures” piece.

    http://matildamagtree.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/define-treasure

    Lovely, Carin! I’m tickled to hear you’re encouraging your friends to share theirs too.

    • Rebecca says:

      That was such an interesting piece–it’s funny how Carin didn’t even realize she valued certain things until she was asked. It’s the same way with me–they’re just things in my life until I stop to think! Which is why this exercise is so great, because it makes you do that!

      • Allyson Latta says:

        I’m very glad you enjoyed the challenge of this exercise, Rebecca. Thank you for taking the time to share your seven. It was such fun to read them and through them to learn more about you.

  4. Thank you for this post. Two things came to mind – a pastor I know loves WWII books and was given a beautiful end-table book on the war. He has had veterans sign the book and tell their stories. One of the signers was a little girl who gave flowers to Hitler, some are soldiers in many fields of battle. What a treasure trove of tales.

    Regarding journals, in my memoir WIP, I have pulled passages from a few journals that survived my many moves – I was reminded of dreams, of details, names, and in some instances surprised at some of the things I wrote down in the seventies. Some quotes (small) are put verbatim in my memoir.

    I have a Bible that is well worn, with marginal notes. I would miss that a lot. I have pictures and cards my children have made for me. Now that they are college age and beyond, they are sweet reminders of the past. I have some letters from very kind agents who read my memoir 20 years ago when I submitted it in a state that was far from ready to submit. I pulled out their letters recently and saw their kindness and concern for the story I wrote, and their gentle suggestions that a few writing classes might help me tell my story. I have some pictures from my past and of my husband as a child.

    Thank you for sharing your list of treasures. Perhaps the best treasure is the friendships that we make in our path of life.

    Have a blessed day.

    • Rebecca says:

      It’s weird how feelings change about the same object. I have pictures of myself I used to think were ugly; now I think I look sweet. All a matter of perspective!

  5. I can relate to all those diaries that make you squirm whenever you open them. I have a suitcase full of journals that I could never part with and I am almost afraid to go through them but will one day too, when I think it’s time to know more about who I am and how I got here … well, there because it’ll be a while yet. Great post!

    • Rebecca says:

      People (writers) tell me that those journals are like money in the bank–one day I’ll be ready to withdraw some of the material and use it my work. We’ll see about that!!

  6. amy says:

    Those are all very adorable, but the card on your toiletries just warmed my heart, as well as the Spider plant, because to me, nothing personal, but the Spider plant specifically is such a 1980’s plant although they really are survivors and do they ever keep growing!!

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