Many years ago, in the realm of luxury, I learnt that buying a jewel is always an act of love. Either the customer was enamoured of themselves or another.
But what of objects more humble? Can they too be acts of love?
Not any object.
The object as an act of love is not expensive but must be scarce, or require a scarce resource to come to life. And the most scarce resource we have today is time.
The time it takes an artisan to share their craft with an apprentice.
The time it takes to make an object by hand.
The time it takes an object to travel many generations.
The time to build an argument and constructively discuss it.
The time to read a book
The time to listen a music album from beginning to end.
The time to cook a meal, with real ingredients.
The time to be present for the others.
The time to do nothing and just be.
The time for ourselves.
The objects that result from these scarce fragments of time are those that are an act of love: towards ourselves or to someone else.
A piece of paper is not scarce, but when turned into a handwritten note is a love declaration. What better way to say "I care for you", then to sit down and write words on a piece of paper? The means can be as simple as the back of an envelop and an humble pencil, but you have to take the time.
Today, we marvel at the love letters of famous people. In 100 years, no one will have ours, because we do not write them. Or, worst, they will be buried in an email box, forgotten amongst deleted social media messages.
No will know how much we loved…
Objects that embody these precious fragments of time are acts of love. Something handed down, a fountain pen, a vase with decaying flowers, a book read at night, dishes shared over a meal, a memento from a trip.
Surrounding ourselves with objects that are acts of love will not make our lives easier, but will make them more meaningful.