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trunk show - Laura Wise

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January 23rd, 2009


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08:45 am - trunk show
At the end of a busy, busy week... I am thinking about trunk shows.

After a v. hard (but pleasing) day yesterday, I was recruiting my strength and resting my brain by flipping through the February Vogue, whereupon I came upon an article about Isaac Mizrahi taking his new Liz Claiborne line on a series of trunk shows. The OED doesn't have an entry for the term, but it means that a designer takes his or her wares on the road to display; the designer opens his trunk, et voila, there is treasure. (We hope.)

When I think of the word 'trunk,' I think of those boxes of treasure, memories, art. (The OED reminds me that I should think of trees, which I generally don't. The OED reminds me also that I should think of elephants, which I do... which reminds me of Heffalumps, too, with those long flexible appendages ready to scoop up Animals with Very Little Brain.)

I've always wanted a steamer trunk -- although actually traveling with a trunk would require porters and the ability to summon same with a gentle wave of a gloved hand, which, wow, not going to happen in my life. The stickers on the outside could be a record of treasures seen, even if the trunk itself is sadly empty. Inside, there is space, and space, and space for more.

A steamer trunk's public in some way, however. It's something to take to a trunk show. It's the conveyance for someone born in a trunk, someone born to the business of show. Your treasures are portable (by porters, by a gentle wave of a gloved hand). Your treasures you always carry with you.

Trunks in attics or storage spaces, though... private treasures, not for show. Who knows what might be happening under the lid of a filled trunk? Other than moths, of course.

Old love-letters might unribbon themselves, a dainty yellow-ivory page slipping out to find another page with rakish black letters. A folded dress might unfold, swirl itself out in the confines, call up a breeze from long ago. A paste diamond still gleams, even though its setting is tarnished. Boxes within boxes open with a shriek of release, but what's inside is cold and broken and angry, old pain kept for no reason. Then a child's kaleidoscope turns by itself, and the colors escape the circle and pour over love-letters, clothes, tarnished memories, old pain.

The trunk show is inside, then.

What do you carry in your trunk, and what would you show?

(23 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:paratti
Date:January 23rd, 2009 02:26 pm (UTC)
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Mine was in the luggage room where it got all soaked by a burst pipe:(

((hugs))
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:January 23rd, 2009 02:35 pm (UTC)
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Oh, L, I'm so sorry. :-(((

[hugs]
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From:winding_path
Date:January 23rd, 2009 02:44 pm (UTC)
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I've been in Small Town too long; I read your first sentence as "truck shows" and was left for a second thinking that was a very odd topic for you, dear.

I've loved the notion of trunks since I read a Nancy Drew book, in fifth grade perhaps, called something to the effect of The Secret of the Brass-Bound Trunk. I now remember nothing about it except the title, that it was my favorite, and that I did a book report on it. I'm torn between thinking I should go find it, and thinking that if I did, I would likely reread it and then shake my head at the taste of my 10-year old self, and perhaps it's best to let it be a happy hazy memory.

My trunk is full of odds and ends of jewelry -- most of it not of great monetary value, but valued by its owner, pictures -- some organized and some a jumble, and papers -- ticket stubs, letters, half-finished stories, rough drafts, journals, notes. There's a blue and white fan, a small pottery bowl (wrapped carefully in a brown scarf), and a scattering of coins, many of which are no longer accepted in the country they were issued by. There's a small grey stuffed mouse and puzzle with one piece missing, a few dried flowers, and a small metal tea pot.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:January 23rd, 2009 03:05 pm (UTC)
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Oooh, brass-bound is such a fabulous adjective.

And hurrah for the things in your trunk. :-) [hugs]
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From:anne_d
Date:January 23rd, 2009 03:08 pm (UTC)
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You do have the most interesting thoughts. Your trunk would also be a shrine or altar, by the Beautiful Necessity definition. I should get that book out and reread it, one of these days...

What goes in mine? I must think on it.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:January 23rd, 2009 04:38 pm (UTC)
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Oh, I should look up that book.

Anyway, hugs and good thoughts on this Friday!
[User Picture]
From:anne_d
Date:January 23rd, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC)
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It's a lovely book, and where I learned that I could, too, make shrines and altars - because I already was.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:January 23rd, 2009 06:51 pm (UTC)
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I will now go google Mr Dressup. :-))

Your trunk has lovely things -- and boot-boxes are perfectly fine storage places!

[hugs and a good weekend to you]
[User Picture]
From:freixenet
Date:January 23rd, 2009 07:58 pm (UTC)
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Oh excellent question. I have no answer for you, but this is a lovely post and a thought provoking set of paragraphs.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:January 23rd, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC)
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I'm glad you like the question, F! And I'm glad you enjoyed the post, too. :-)

[hugs and tea]
[User Picture]
From:pinkdormouse
Date:January 23rd, 2009 10:21 pm (UTC)
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Beautiful posy, but I'm too tired to answer.

HUGS
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:January 24th, 2009 12:44 am (UTC)
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You don't need to answer! Especially as you've just moved. :-))

[hugs hugs]
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From:wildrider
Date:January 23rd, 2009 11:36 pm (UTC)
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I find very often I end up giving my characters things I can't attain -- for example, the well-traveled steamer trunk. *g*

I have to stop goofing around and write a review, but I'll think about my own internal steamer trunk... in the meantime, hugs for Friday!
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:January 24th, 2009 12:44 am (UTC)
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There you go! We give our characters things we don't have! (In my case, trials and powers I don't have, either...)

Hugs and a cheerful Friday to you!
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From:stateless82
Date:January 24th, 2009 09:35 am (UTC)
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Oh, this is pretty.

When I was little there was a trunk in the other room. (We had three rooms in our upstairs, Andrew's Workshop, Bump's Room and the Other Room) It had a curved lid and was behind, well pretty much everything. Most of the stuff in it belonged to my great-uncle's wife's family who had lived in those rooms back in the teens and twenties. There were some of the most amazing things, like button hooks, a lace christening gown, letters, tin type photos. Serious treasure for a 12 year old girl.

[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:January 24th, 2009 11:20 am (UTC)
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Oh, that trunk sounds AMAZING. Did you keep anything from it?

And hee, I love your names for the three rooms. :-)

Hugs hugs, and a happy Saturday!
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:January 24th, 2009 06:50 pm (UTC)
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Rainkatt! [hugs]

I love your multiple trunks and equivalents thereof: how wonderful to keep your fabric in one, and how v. right to count the lidded basket as one too! That's really lovely (and NOT lazy at all).

Thank you for sharing the treasures, and hugs and support for all the other stuff.
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From:heron_pose
Date:January 24th, 2009 07:07 pm (UTC)
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I fear I may be trunkless.

This post brought back such vivid memories of reading your 'Foreign Affairs' the first time; your love affair w/steamer trunks was well on display.

'old pain kept for no reason' -- that's probably in my trunk, if I have one, but I work on getting it OUT. What would I show? pressed autumn leaves, polished stones. a silver teaspoon. a worn out, chunky guitar pick. one glass bead.

::so many hugs::
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:January 24th, 2009 09:02 pm (UTC)
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The trunk can totally be a metaphor. ;-)

I love the things you choose to show -- the natural, preserved, and pieces of art. So cool, H-P!

Am sending you good thoughts and hugs on this Saturday.
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From:mobile_alh
Date:January 25th, 2009 02:45 am (UTC)
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Fun with words indeed, and such lovely ones.

Once there was my father's old wooden footlocker from army days, usually filled with shredding quilts and extra needlepoint wool and sweaters and papers falsely thought to be of value. These days, my grandmother's cedar chest, where i keep sweaters my mother knit even if no one is wearing them any more,...at least, I think that's what's stuffed away. I really should go look again.
Meanwile, hugs and thanks for a trunkful of delicious images.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:January 25th, 2009 02:08 pm (UTC)
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Thank you for kind words, ALH!

And thank you for sharing the description of that lovely pair of trunks. I hope there's something wonderful in your grandmother's cedar chest!

[hugs and good things]

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