In an era of abundance and access, it's easy to lose sight of the vitality of household things. An author looks back in order to look forward at the humility of thrift and the humanity of objects.
We acquire and we accumulate. But why? What is the story we're trying to tell through the possessions we own. Our columnist Courtney Martin considers the multiple philosophies of ownership — and points toward that which is truly valuable.
If there is one tangible object that represents my mother, it would be a quilt. She spent my childhood making beautiful patterns: lone stars, flying geese, double wedding rings. Each stitch was exactly even and the corners of the fabric joined together just right.