Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Have you lost your marbles?

I might have found them. I love glass and glass objects.

I love the crystal beauty of it, I love (and hate) that it is to some degree, ephemeral. (I have broken many a drinking glass, and glass vase and glass plate... the list is endless!)

I love the colors, the interplay of clear, translucent and opaque glass.

I've been collecting marbles since I was a teen.

By then, marbles, as a competitive game was becoming passé.

So too, tops, (an other cut throat competitive game, too) and conkers, and scully...

Competitive kite flying (as in The Kite Runner) had disappeared before my time.

Now days, all sorts of cutthroat games like these have gone away. Play has been become all team work and cooperation. It's all adult supervised, and the idea of playing a game with bit of glass and the object of smashing, chipping, breaking the others guys stuff is—well--unheard of.

But there are still marbles about.

I have about 60 marbles.. mostly glass with a few (4 or 5) shooters--including 1 aggie. (but no steelies)

I find my marbles, 1 at a time, in the most unlikely places. My most recent one, in the gutter of my side street.

Don't let the word “side street” fool you. It's 4 lanes of traffic, plus 2 lanes of parking. In one direction it's a feeder road to an on ramp of I-495 (LIE) in the other direction, it's part of a bus route--to La Guardia Airport.

There aren't any houses (or stores) across the street from me,--just the open terraces of a large multi story parking garage. And “my side”? A long (about double the length of an average) block—the side of a an over sized parcel that has 6 Hi-rise buildings, (each with 120 + apartments, ) a pool, two play areas, and parking garages. (underground)

Still a marble washed out from somewhere, and got carried along till the rain ended and then it stuck in the sand and mud wash out. Just the top quarter remained above the mud, glinting in the sun.

It is amazing, and yet not so, that I can find about 1 marble a year in NYC.
But, then, I look for marbles.. I seek them out and I find them.


Some people look for trouble (and they too find it everywhere) some look for worst in people, and they find that too.

I look for beauty. Marbles are just little bits of beauty.. but I find them.. and each time I am reminded to pay attention of my focus—I know, what every I look for, I will find.


Lauren said...

Marbles are pretty, I use to have a few.

Mag said...

I haven't seen a marble since my brother's collection when I was a child. I wonder if he still has them? Need to find out. ;)

I love and collect glass objects too! I have broken more than I care to say! I used to have complete sets of my favorite "Laura Glass", Italian pressed glass drinking glasses, but from breakage, I'm down to just a couple oddballs.
I have one piece of Murano glass. It is student's work, so it was A. cheap and B. imperfect.
I love sea glass too. Do you ever get down to the shore, Jersey in particular, and look for sea glass?

Beth said...

Very poetic. And so true- you'll always find what you're looking for.

I used to play marbles a lot when I was a kid, but then a playground bully stole my favorite one away from me. So sad. My favorite was a blue cat's eye.

sulu-design said...

Helen, I'll admit, I've completely fallen off the knitting wagon. So I've been bad about keeping up with knitting-related blogs. But I really enjoyed this post since it reminded me of you and your varied interests, it made me think of the streets of NYC, and the moral that you worked in was seamless. Lovely.

zippiknits.....sometimes said...

Glass is so beautiful. I love it for all the reasons you've talked about. I'll post some glass,soon, that I faceted into a "gem". lol

DH has a marble collection. I have a few from playing when I was a kid. Steelies and Aggies, but mostly glass. What where the great big ones called?

DH used to fly kites with a little group of boys who put razor blades in the tails and fought to cut each others strings, or even the kites, into shreds. They made them from newspaper. Fun times. Thanks for the memories.

Shea said...

We have tons of those around our house. There's something about having boys around that attracts marbles. I have one that I keep with a potted plant in my kitchen. Just one marble adds enough color to attract the eye to it. amazing.

They also make great "frogs" in clear glass vases. Perfect for helping to hold up long stemmed flowers. They are also great in the bottom of a fish tank.

I love marbles!