Our possessions carry various weight and meaning to us. Some possessions are highly valued, some have attachment qualities and others have meaning that can’t be fully expressed. I may have some genetic disposition that causes me to be sentimental and value certain items that are not to be considered heirlooms. I hold certain possessions in high regard despite their actual worth. Perhaps the savoring of certain items may be to keep the memory alive, which is the case of this peculiar art pictured above.
My maternal grandmother lived in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn most of her life. She was raised in Norway but came to America in her 20’s. She made many long journey’s across the Atlantic between Norway and the United States. She also lived there after she was married and her first 2 children were born in Norway. But like many who emigrated to the United States, there was no place like Brooklyn. Regardless of your nationality it was in Brooklyn where one could find comfort through familiar faces and even culture despite lack of any geographic similarities between the two countries. It was all about the people and the convenience of living in a city that aided in the amalgamation of people. I believe the friends she had in Bay Ridge were as familiar to her as her native Norwegians, and many of them actually were native Norwegians.
I loved going to my grandmother’s home in Brooklyn. The picture displayed hung about the bed in her spare bedroom. I thought these ballerina ladies were so beautiful, and on some level so foreign. I believe they were somewhat counter-culturally to my surroundings, which may sound a bit strange to some of you. I didn’t have a sheltered life, but I would say I had little exposure to the arts and dance was not part of my upbringing. So these ballerina’s always intrigued me and I admired them. I don’t even know how to describe this piece of art. It’s some form of print, in a boxed metal frame that has a light inside which illuminates the picture. Whenever I was there, I would turn the switch and light up the beautiful ballerina ladies.
I have had this piece in my possession since sometime after my grandmother passed away in 1993. I never had a place to display it, even though I have 2 daughters who took ballet and dance. When we moved to the south and I set up one of our spare bedrooms, I finally found a perfectly suited place to display these ballerina’s. I can admire this piece for what it is, but more than that, I can reflect on the wonderful memories I have of my grandmother and the many sleep overs I had in her spare bedroom with the ballerina’s illuminated over my head.
My grandmother was very dear to me and her other grandchildren. I have other items of hers, but there is something about this item that is special and maybe it’s because I saved it for close to 25 years. I didn’t have the heart to part with it, and I often wondered why I packed it up when we moved from various houses since it never was on display. Now I can really appreciate it and smile as I fondly remember not just the time we had together but the feeling that being with her evoked. I know my cousins know exactly what I mean. This piece of nostalgia may have little material value but the joy and memories it conjures up makes it valuable to me.