5: Things that make things matter to me

There was this obtuse design exercise at an event today that I, of course, really enjoyed thinking about. It was on mattering (bringing things to the forefront of our attention and making them ‘of concern’ to us) and things (I think he was going to physical things, but yours truly is a renegade). I thought I’d share some of things I’ve come up with between dinner and now in a much-overdue “Friday 5.”


  1. Language. I adore sharing a language with someone. Truly being able to speak to someone and through all my terrible puns, obscure references, and old idioms…and for them to get it. I appreciated it the most when it was robbed of me. Like when I’m traveling around in Europe this summer and I wished I could speak better—more deeply—with someone. I can most connect with others (already an uphill battle for me) when I can have a good conversation with them. No matter how many times we hang out, I will feel distant from you until we have to good conversation. I like understanding in silent moments and in shared glances. I have trouble expressing myself in so many ways and if you take language away from me I imagine there’ll always a be a barrier.
  2. Stories. The way you share what matters to you with me, is through stories where you create a shared experience for me. Like, the way I used to find new music to like is someone would play a song for me and tell me why they’d like it. Or they’d play it in a car. I then had a story around this song, a memory of them, and I would like it too. All the sudden this song would be something special to me. I know it’s kind of weird that I wasn’t that into music before, but it was a thing. It’s kind of like how I like to hold on to things from other people because I think getting rid of it would be a slight on them. It’s why I like old/used things so much. I have an imagined story of the life my—say, electric kettle—lived. I’m obsessed with collected stories and experiences. Although, moving 11 times does help one downsize.
  3. Text messages (of all kinds). It has helped me keep in touch with my very dear friends in the classic verbose Jacklynn manner.
  4. Work. I value the dedication, passion, or craft that might go into an object and that will make it matter to me. I try as much as I can to support the real creative efforts people have put into whatever their passion are, though it’s not nearly enough. My theater and fine art friends have a passion and drive for what they do that I respect and want to support. When I think something has been done arbitrarily, I can’t help but think of it arbitrarily. This is, no surprise, often expressed through thoughtful design. It also makes me cherish things that I don’t think can be reproduced. Like the lines of a quick, absent-minded sketch.
  5. That it matters to you. If you tell me something you’re interested in, your honesty shows and it makes me interested in it too. I like so many things because someone, sometime, in my life has made a case for why it’s neat and it has sense marinated in my mind ever since.

Bonus: Also, if there are corgis.


What makes the things that matter to you, matter?

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