Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Souvenirs October 5, 2012

Whenever Mr. Fab and I travel, we usually bring back a piece of local art. Among my favorites are a pair of oil paintings of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas that we bought from a street artist on Copacabana beach, a set of wooden masks from a Johannesburg market, and a rather buxom middle-aged angel mobile that I found and fell in love with in a cliff-top ceramics studio on Orcas Island in Washington. These pieces remind me of my travels and trigger memories – some good and some not so good – of journeys and adventures.

A few years ago we went through a period of hunting down sculptures and ended up with a number of statues, in bronze, wood, and stone, of pregnant women. Over time, these have found a home on shelves around our house and, like many of our belongings, have blended in and become part of the furniture. It’s only recently that I’ve become aware of just how many we’ve collected.

I don’t remember making a conscious decision to collect these sculptures, but at a subconscious level I suppose I was drawn to them because they represented my hopes and dreams, or more accurately, my expectations. Now, they represent a part of me I’ll never get to know.

And yet, these pieces don’t make me sad and I’ve never considered parting with them. Like the other treasures I cherish, they are souvenirs of my travels, not just mementos of geographical locations, but a map of the journey I’ve taken through life. Even though the road was sometimes rough, I still want to remember the places I’ve been.

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2 Responses to “Souvenirs”

  1. Maria Says:

    I also collected small art pieces when I travelled when I was single. But, when I met my husband, we decided to collect cheap plastic snow globes from the places we had been. I had about 2 dozen in a cabinet and then we redecorated, got rid of the cabinet and I had no place to put them. Many of them had dried out and we agreed to throw them away. I immediately regretted it and my husband told me recently he did too. I wish I still had them because handling them does bring back all those wonderful memories.

  2. Mali Says:

    We also try to buy art when we travel. If we can’t find anything we like, we resort to either Christmas decorations, or photographs. I’m glad your souvenirs don’t make you sad. I have a painting of three pregnant women. I bought it after my second (ectopic) pregnancy, hopeful that the third would be the lucky one. There was never a third pregnancy. I don’t like the painting anymore – it makes me feel foolish – and can’t remember what we have done with it. It isn’t on the wall anymore. I only want things around me that make me happy.


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