Yesterday, I was a little confused about this new object in my life. Easily understood as a consumable of some sort, his hand raised in a welcoming “hello!”, my feeling moved from confusion to joy as I walked from my flat to the studio this morning and realized how much of a contribution he makes in my life. And, quite simply, how much I love him.
Since he is an eraser he isn’t saying hello, he is saying goodbye. In the world, he acts as a foil to me. I create; he removes. Together we are in balance. Ultimately, he behaves as a mushroom or other fungi, transforming existence. Simultaneously he becomes a non-object as he fulfills his duties. He doesn’t simply say goodbye to things – he completes their journey to a different realm. And he does so not by an abstract gesture, but by a final caress, while slowly moving towards that realm himself.
How fitting he has taken the form of a garden gnome, an image and symbolic shorthand for travel, journey, and the general qualities of transience given to us by pop culture. Is he black as an acknowledgment of death or is the purpose practical? Or maybe it is more like in China, where he is a stand-in for water and flow, cycles and exchange within an esoteric ether. He was made in China after all.
There he stands in my studio, symbolic of the transience of being while also being the action completing his transmutation. I love him; I will miss him.
Over coffee, I ask him questions. Can we say that he destroys? What lies beyond for him? On the other side of existence does his image look the same? In this new realm is he welcoming and saying hello? What things exist in that imagined plain we will never come to know? He stands there mute not revealing his secrets.
Thank you Secret Santa,