Meet Percy. Percy, the people lover.
My mom introduced us in the late 70s. For many years he had a paper tag, proving his title was not an invention of hers, but rather the name with which he arrived.
For as long as I can remember, in each of our houses, he has hung above the kitchen sink. I don’t remember exactly when I become his keeper, but I am sure it had everything to do with my fondness for him and was not at all a result of nobody else in my family being interested in displaying him.
He is not particularly attractive. Nor is he precisely crafted. But he does have charm for days and a wide open heart. As a people lover, Percy serves as a gentle, ever-present reminder of what we are here to do: love.
This week, I have been thinking about the ways physical objects (like Percy) shape, represent, and remind us of our identities.
In a recent class meeting via Zoom, a usually quiet student typed into the chat box, “Could I show you my bookshelf?” You can imagine how my teacher heart just about melted at the request. When he shared his books, his classmates responded with kindness and awe. It was such a gift to be given this tangible representation of who he is.
That moment prompted me to think differently about the following week’s optional invitation for my students to write and share. I remembered a regular feature in FLOW magazine called “Museum of Me.” In each issue, a different creative soul shares a photo layout of treasured objects with an accompanying annotated list explaining some of the backstory of each item.
In Issue 31, the introduction to the feature reads, “The story of your life is often revealed in small, personal objects.” I love that. We are longing for ways to connect, so I thought my students and I could try creating our own. Mine is below.
There is something special about opening your heart wide to others by giving and by being open to receive. My good friend Percy told me so.