“A Gasp of Delight”

I’m having a one-person Maira Kalman reading festival since I discovered Alibris as an antidote to Amazon.   I don’t buy many books these days, but these books have such appeal for me…she’s an artist, writer, illustrator, wit.  In 2011 Kalman was invited to curate an exhibition of her favorite things from the Cooper-Hewitt Museum collection in New York (imagine such a thing) and she took a year to examine the collection and choose.  She then wrote and illustrated a lovely book about the experience, and about the act of curating itself…”My Favorite Things”…and how did she choose?

So that was step one in my thinking.  What are my favorite things?  What has made me gasp with delight in my own “museum” here on Court Street?

Step two…a SNL video Rachel posted on FB this morning that cracked me up…a send up of Architectural Digest home tours…which I thought would make a great local series.

Step Three, me to R: “So what around here is your favorite thing?  What made you ‘gasp with delight’?”  An interesting discussion followed wherein he said really it was the total environment that was the delight…ALL the things that make up this “collection” we live in.  This was kind of a broad concept for a photo, so I pressed him a little and the house and it’s architectural details emerged as favorites for him.  Which reminded me of the first time we stepped in the front door on a house hunt.  We saw the stairs and I said…”this is it.”  And it was…

But he then said “the woodwork at that one corner, the way the light comes in and pools on the floor, the tall windows in the front parlor…” And since this is the only museum we’re allowed to visit at the moment I thought I’d play this game…

Today I can’t think of EVERYTHING that made me “gasp with delight”…it would take me a while to think about.  Lamps seem to be in the running though…I remember gasping when I found this one YEARS ago…and it delights me even more since we had the amazing lampshade re-made…

or little things like buttons and table legs…

so maybe every day or whenever, I’ll post something that makes (or made) me gasp.  Of course these aren’t “our” things, really.  They had a life before us and will have another chapter after us.  We are just here in our museum together for this little strange time…because as Kalman says …

Keep in touch



  1. At this time we are, with the help of Facetime and good natured helpers identifying items from that “collection” to send west.
    It is the lamps for sure!
    Happily had an estate sale person come in and agree to take over all we don’t ship.
    I haven’t put an earring on in a month. So much now seems of a different life.

    1. My watch battery ran out….no problem. But the lamps….always the lamps. We are in DIFFERENT life for sure…I’m mildly curious about it, but it won’t be our fight. Xxoo and hope “west” means here…

  2. I don’t think I’ve gasped, Bonnie, but several times a day I step outside in this freely bestowed beauty all around me, , go close to the water either in our yard or over to the bridge at the creek, , and just watch and listen. LOVE that sound. That suffices for my gasp! Loved your question and responses. Ginny

  3. I hope you’ve encouraged ” A SERIES……….(local, or not )Loved it…..but then, we expect it from you (& R.) w/ your generous sharing of your “gifts”…Blessings !!

  4. I love the premise. Gasping – with delight, with wonder, with joy – there are so many possibilities. And it’s a great way to think of our decisions every day. More such gasping and delight would make a better world. Bravo, Bon!

  5. Hmmm, I’m going to take a look around my house for gasp worthy things. That SNL video had me snort laughing. Love!

  6. Love the beauty of your “museum” and the idea behind this post, must take it to heart and look at my museum pieces in this new way.

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