The Wisdom of Things Found 5: The Teaspoon

TeaspoonThis was found on a track that runs along by the river Wear. At the bridge at the bottom of Page Bank, the path is metalled with what seems to be rubble from old houses. There are tiles and bits of pottery, brick and plaster, the occasional door handle or tap washer. I always keep my eyes down in case, in a final bid for immortality, the past has sent something forwards in time to be found.

It was no surprise to find a battered teaspoon, then, but this one made me smile. As a gift from a demolished home, this was well chosen for me.

I like teaspoons: chatty little upstarts in the cutlery drawer. They have heard all the gossip in the world from their hiding places in sugar bowls, on saucers, on the kitchen sideboard, and they like to stir things up. Just as a junkie’s paraphernalia (often including a teaspoon) becomes comfortingly associated with the addiction, so teaspoons speak to me of the good pleasure in my life that is coffee. A good teaspoon has a little weight but not too much. It should  nestle comfortably between thumb and forefinger and clink lightly against the cup when stirring. Holding it, one should feel inspired to gesticulate for emphasis and, possibly, to flirt.

She makes the sign of a teaspoon
He makes the sign of a wave
The poor boy changes clothes
And puts on after-shave
To compensate for his ordinary shoes
(Paul Simon)

In specific, look at this little one. Stamped out from cheap, thin metal, like a paper doll, I’d say it was born in the leaner war years, giving its understated, sinuous decoration a note of defiance: “I will be pretty. I will be more than ‘just a spoon’.”

Does it have anything wise to say? I think so.

I’m reminded of the times I’ve chosen to eat desert with a teaspoon instead of with a fork or table spoon, taking smaller mouthfuls, savouring each of them, drawing the experience out.

I picked up this spoon at a moment when I felt overwhelmed by life. I realised I needed to go back to ‘eating’ with a teaspoon. Even if there’s a mountain to move, and just a teaspoon to do it with, the main thing is to make a start and to savour each small moment.

Some of Mevlana’s words came back to me. These have never failed to unlock a sense of presence and peace for me:

Take little sips of air for the rest of your life.

3 thoughts on “The Wisdom of Things Found 5: The Teaspoon

  1. Lindsay Anderson says:

    I love your stories. Im a regular listener of your podcast. The episode I just listened to, “begged” for feedback so I obliged. I love their magical tone and hope you’ll return!!

    1. Hurray, Lindsay! Thank you for getting in touch and thank you for listening. I seem to be on an extended hiatus at the moment with life being challenging (as it is for us all these days) but I really, really hope I can put some time into fresh material for the podcast before the year is out. I really appreciate the supportive comments, they help me to keep going!

      Sweet dreams!

  2. I, too, am a big fan of your stories, Seymour. Insomnia brought me to your site (as it does tonight)–I started listening when I really just could not get to sleep. Your stories have lulled me to sleep many times. I have a bunch of favorites that I’ve fallen asleep to or listened to all the way through (those are the more challenging nights). I particularly like Blue Yonder and all the stories with water in them. I particularly like them because they are, indeed, curious tales and because they are original. Thank you for sharing your writing and storytelling gift. Now off to the archive to see what will hit my fancy and take me into dreamland. With gratitude, Martha

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.