I was reminded strongly of this thought while, of all things, rummmaging around ebay. I was again looking at ancient rings, because I find them strangely beautiful. I was relishing the thought of how wonderfully amazing it was that these beautiful pieces of history were *available* to people--and how thrilled i was to have my ring back after 800 years! then it hit me. Maybe I have no right to judge, having partaken of such things as I have, but the thought disturbs me.
These rings, these broaches and pins, all have a life in them. They *meant* something to somebody, so many many years ago. They had personal *value*. This ring perhaps was commissioned for his dearest love; that broach, the only physical remembrance a woman has of her mother who died giving her life. These items were a part of the everyday lives of actual, genuine people. Ordinary people. famous people. just people. These items, to these people, had worth far beyond monetary value.
The phrase from The Crow, when Eric is in the pawnshop, looking for the ring he had given Shelley. "...each... one.... of these rings... was a *life*... a life... that *you*... helped *destroy*..."
Some pieces have a continued legacy... such as family heirlooms continue for generation upon generation. I believe my ring had a purpose, to make it back to me. And some pieces for sale alongside it are also meant to continue. To become part of another life, to assume a piece of that essence as well before moving on--or passing on. It is good and right that some of these pieces continue. and you can tell them--they still feel alive.
But others are dead in their essence. Some of these pieces are past their use, their life, their meaning. They should have remained buried, hidden, allowed to keep their rest, as all corpses should be. Allowed to rest and be allowed to die. To revive these pieces whose spirit is gone defiles and dishonours them and minimizes their life, as equally as displaying a corpse in a museum dishonours the body contained there.
These pieces dead--and some still alive, some that *should* go on and live and experience again will not be allowed to do their duty. They will be bought as they are sold. "Wonderful addition to any collection!"--collect only dust behind glass, never touching, oh no it is too rare and valuable. "Amazing conversation piece!" "own a piece of history!". Buy them because they are valuable. For their filthy monetary value. I want to scream, "this is wrong, let these LIVE, let them be bought them for their inherent beauty and worth and meaning, not for the money or the prestige!"
These pieces... the ones that still live need to be allowed to continue to *live*, not just sit and be stale. And the ones that are dead, that have died and passed on... they need to be granted the respect that is their rest. For these things, 'inanimate objects' though they are... they have a soul as well... they have a soul as well.