May 16, 2012

A History of Self

 Definition of GLASS:
a brittle transparent solid with irregular atomic structure 
from Free Online Thesaurus 

The shattering of  glass is as loud as a domino being slapped down by a player with a winning hand.  I didn't cry when I heard the sound.  I realized that the glass represented a part of the history of myself.

In an episode from NCIS, a recurring villain hands a glass of Napoleonic brandy to one of the main characters and says "History in a glass."  I am not interested in what's inside the glass or the history of the glass itself.  Although, I am sure both are equally fascinating.  I collect tiny, antique, hand-blown glasses for aesthetic reasons only.

I can date my collection from the time I started visiting my sister in southern France.  In a small shop near her home in Le Bez, a rather grumpy man runs a 50 year old antique shop covered with dust.  Spitting on a plate to see the pattern is not unheard of, at least in my family.  This is where my collection began.

Every glass I own has a story.  It is the story of where it was purchased, who I was with, what mood I was in, what cafe my husband waited for me in, and what aspect of that particular vessel prompted me to buy it.  These glasses are a  barometer of my aesthetic decisions at a specific time.  Better than a scrapbook or digital catalog of photos, these vintage containers are a warning sign;  reminding me of my obsessions and the lengths I will go to, to satisfy them.

Last weekend, my husband added a shelf to my glass cabinet.  This meant removing all the glasses with great care.  In re-arranging the glasses back on the shelves, I left the best for last: my collection.  And that is when it happened.  A deafening crash.  One small vessel was no more.

 In some circles a digestif may be an ordinary occurrence.  In my circle, even my facebook circle, imbibing a digestif is still a rarefied experience, but after the destruction of one of my prized glasses, 11 am was not too early to pour myself a drop of grappa in a glass from Bassano Del Grappa.


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