Objects of Beauty, 1.

In Objects of Beauty Series, Travel by David28 Comments

Blundstone 063 boots, Sandstorm Safari Duffle

This is the beginning of a new project for me. A friend once commented that we (I think he meant me) mark our lives by the things we acquire. I think that’s less true than that we have an interesting relationship to those things. They help tell our story.

The boots above, for example, have been to 7 continents with me. They were on my feet when I fell from the wall in Italy and were subsequently pulled off (very painfully) my broken feet in the ER of the hospital in Pisa. They were on my feet when, a week before, I met my girl and began falling in love. They have gone through a lot with me. Next week I’ll be looking for another pair, my 3rd set of Blunnies in 7 years, so I can start wearing them in now. Mine feel so worn in now, they’re like slippers. I walk the world in them, I unfairly abuse them, and I wouldn’t wear anything else. They’re rugged, slip off easily at airports, shrines, and mosques, and with a polish they look like a million bucks. Almost every photograph I’ve ever made was made standing in, or near, my Blundstones.

The bag I bought this year in Kenya while on safari, just en route to Zanzibar. It’s a beautiful, soft canvas, trimmed with supple leather, and made in Kenya by Sandstorm.

Once in a while I’ll post one of these. Most of them will be travel related. All of them will be objects I love for the perfection of form, function, and memories, I see in them. I suspect by the end of the series you’ll know a little more about me, because I think the objects we deem beautiful, and the stories that make them so, say something significant about us.


  1. Author

    Tif – Who knows? Poets are notoriously absent-minded. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Props.

    Perhaps JS meant to post that to The Collaborative Photo-Haiku Project. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Author

    Wow, JS, that was truly poetic. A little on the irrelevant side, but poetic in a minimalist/absurdist kind of way. I’ve taken the liberty of removing your SPAM-like URL, which took me to a site selling shoes, which is weird because I was pretty sure from your comment that it was going to take me to a Gerard Manley Hopkins tribute site. But I’m going to let your comment stand, because we get so little spam poetry these days.

  4. a waterfall the side of his body, her pillow in his arms, gently close my eye

  5. Author

    Al – That breaking-in period has almost driven me to tears at times, though each pair’s different. I just bought a new pair and I’m determined to beat these things into submission. Once you break their spirit, they’ll be the most comfortable boots you’ve ever put on your feet.

  6. Heard such nice things here about ‘Blunnies” that I decided to do a little research. They seem to have a near cult status around the world. I’m tired of replacing my Rocksports every year so I found a store nearby and went and bought a pair. There is definably a wearing in period to survive but I like them. See, people do read your blog! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I got my Blundstone boots just before Kathmandu WTF have worn them just about everywhere since. Its is the story that makes the stuff special…

  8. Pingback: Objects of Beauty, 1. - My Blog

  9. Awesome- I love my favorite shoes but then I go to get another pair and they go and they Change it! Every year they go and change the shoes- why do they have to do that, makes me want to stockpile shoes the next time I find the perfect pair!

  10. Objects of Beauty – the quintessentials. It’s funny how we acquire more and more things but very few really matter. It reminds me of the saying that when you die if you have had five real friends then you’ve had a good life.

  11. This is something I’ve considered starting as a project for myself for sometime, but always had “something better to do”. Great to see you start this. Hopefully it will help me get rolling eventually too.

  12. Sorry Ken, it’s a long way away. Parked nearby is Jessie, my 93 Land Rover Defender, which I’d also love to feature. It’s not going to happen for a while…

  13. One object of LUST I’d like to see featured is your father’s ’49 Willys/Bantam. Pretty please.

  14. Funny, I didn’t look at them like an object of beauty when I saw them on your feet a few weeks ago-they just looked like beat up boots ๐Ÿ™‚ – but I can concede and see your point! Hope all is well!

  15. Great idea David…I love it. Your post made me think of certain things that I’m attached to but all too often take for granted. Your posts always inspire me to think a little differently.

  16. I love this project! Also, how cool is it that you remember the shoes you were wearing when you met your girl. Very romantic. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Great idea, David. I think what will be even more telling is the way in which you photograph the objects throughout the series, and if/how that changes from object to object. I’ve found myself photographing objects that are a part of my everyday existence, that I never really thought were important or beautiful to me *until* I photographed them. The way in which I photographed them brought out certain aspects of them that I ordinarily overlooked, and during the editing process, I made certain connections that I never knew existed before. For me, that’s the joy of photography in general. So often, it isn’t until we make a decision to photograph something that we see its true beauty and significance.

    I will be anxious to hear, at the end of this project, if you discover any overlooked connections with items you photograph in this series.

    I look forward to following this!

  18. David,

    Great article. The items, in this case a pair of boots and a faithful bag, have character, have story, have purpose. Well done.


  19. Man, that is a cool idea. We do connect with items like these. Like my Red Wing shoes that wore half dollar sized blisters on my heels this week! Not the same kind of memories, but memories none the less! Good stuff David!

  20. bootiful…. the connection of course… ๐Ÿ™‚

    for me it usually is a favourite hat… it protects my exposed solar panel…

  21. Great idea David, I agree that this will give an insight into you and in fact all of us if we were to follow your lead. I personally take pride in actually wearing something out from use in today’s throw away/next new thing society. I love a well word object that still performs it’s function as intended.

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