The Wisdom of Things Found 4: The Eraser

January 2013, next to the river Derwent (Durham)

It has been a while since I listened to the message of a found object, let alone blogged about it, but this one nailed things on so many levels that it has brought me out of hibernation.

The river Derwent has burst its bank a few times in the last few damp months, destroying low-lying vegetation, pulling rotten trees up like spent teeth and retreating into newly worn watercourses, leaving a new geography of sand and silt and folorn scraps of debris in the lower branches of trees. The scouring effect of the flood always unearths another layer of history, old colliery bricks and pipes and pottery – rich pickings for the found object philosopher.

WP_000770This caught my eye, looking like a rectangular pebble. In fact it is a very old and hard eraser. As soon as I held it in my hand it spoke:


Well, dear reader, I don’t know if those words are as sweet to you as they were and are to me. The last two months of silence on this blog has been due to things being tough. I’d dearly like to rub them out and write something else there. I pray I’ll have the objectivity to blog about this shortly, but in the meantime there are such gracious comforts as this eraser spoke to me.

Later that evening, I took out my find for another look, and that was when I noticed the face.

wisemanJust from a certain angle it looks like a wise old bearded man (who reminds me a little of my father) with his gaze turned towards the heavens … to the light of a Star, perhaps?

After all, it was the 6th of January, the night of Epiphany

Click here for more “Things Found” posts or listen to the Story of  “The Wisdom of Things Found” at Stories from the Borders of Sleep.

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