Value in our objects – custodians, or curators, of our things

A pair of strappy black high heels in a closet.
Anna Bukowska’s dancing shoes.
Photo: Anna Bukowska

I recently had the joy of leading a workshop that connected me with a group of writers. We were discussing, thinking and writing about the things that we owned. Some of us wanted to streamline our lives while others were looking to downsize. All of us wanted to record the stories that our objects gave us.

While we discovered many interesting memories hidden in objects, we learned something else about the things we keep. It’s the idea that when it comes to our stuff, we should be thinking of ourselves as custodians, or curators, of our things. Not every “thing” is a piece of consumer waste. There is value in our objects as writer Anna Bukowska shows us in her story about a pair of shoes.  

Dancing shoes

by Anna Bukowska

I have these black leather heels, with straps that gently wraps around the ankle. Looking at the shoes, they are simply beautiful! I can dance in them forever, but in reality, holding them in my hands, I think it’s time to let them go! When I tried them on few days ago, they didn’t seem to fit me anymore. My foot has grown wider!

Covid changed some things these past few months, one of them is the fact that I was unable to do most of my usual activities, and then there was the size of my body that changed…   

I guess the story behind these heels is my graceful figure of a lady. 😊

These heels remind me of a large group in a dance studio, full of life and laughs. It’s a reminder of how fun those Kizomba and Salsa classes were. Oh, we had fun!

Black strappy heels in a basket in a closet.
Anna’s black leather heels in her closet.
Photo: Anna Bukowska

I remember these heels use to be soft and smooth because I could dance for hours in them. They were my spontaneous fun summer! …But now looking at them, it’s like a giant worry. I blame myself for being lazy somehow… Should I keep them anyway?

I even had a nightmare one night that the strap of a heel exploded, and my foot fell off onto the dance floor, in the middle of a crowd, and front of the hottest salsa teacher in the room. The teacher said, “Hey Anna! No more sensual movements for you, you should go home!”

Can you imagine!?

Yeah, I guess these dancing shoes are a reminder that I have no problem keeping moving and should be a little more active and spontaneous. I will keep the shoes and instead, give away my self-doubt. Spring is here and I will fight these few extra pounds while continuing to shine like a star during this pandemic!

Anna Bukowska is a writer in Vancouver. She has published a memoir, Omit, and is working on her second book.