Of Things and People; (for my mother)

Sartre thought people become slaves of things they use, habit making us lose our human dignity. This morning in the kitchen I drank my orange juice and noticed the marjoram in the marmalade jar. Long after she is gone I will not think she was a slave who used these things, each in its appointed place; these spices and utensils, knickknacks and pictures, plants and rugs were hers, not merely the reverse, she not ever entirely theirs. And it will be with me, now, especially from afar, that sunlit morning room and marjoram in a marmalade jar.

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