Writing my way through the A-to-Z blogging challenge, I’ve tasked myself with leading you on a meandering tour of the virtual garden of delights and curiosities and thoughts that make up my world – all through the lens of unusual, obscure, or simply charming-to-me words.
T is for…
trangam: (noun) an odd gaget; gewgaw; trinket
I’m attracted to odd things, and I suppose the attraction is mutual as they often find their way to me. I’m going to make this post a bit of a show-and-tell, and select a few trangams that delight me. Technically I’m not limiting myself to “gadgets” but all of these things likely fit the definition of gewgaw (bonus fabulous word!) which is often defined as “a showy thing, especially one that is useless or worthless.”
Spirals are clearly up for exploring in my world at the moment. And of course in those synchronistic ways the universe says “yes, I’ll play along with you in the most delightful ways,” spirals have been showing up for me all week. Love that! This one, however, has been in my world for some time now. I have no clue what it actually is. It’s old and rusted which I find all the more endearing, and while I don’t know it’s true function, I’m convinced it was quite important. A piece perhaps of some magical machine. After years of hard work, it’s retired and taking up residence with me where it can lead a life of being admired and wondered about. If anyone has an idea of what this is, or even a fanciful speculation, please do let me know. Curious minds want to know.
This is a vintage (patent 1936) tool once used by astrologers.
Can you guess what this is?
While sometimes I look at it and think it might be the worn sandals of some wee folk, it’s actually a fossilized buffalo tooth. I find teeth particularly fascinating. I have a history of challenging dental issues partly attributable to genetics, partly to neglectful care when I was younger, and probably a good portion due simply to the way the dice fell. But it still makes me smile to see this vintage WPA poster.
This is a cross-sectional slice of some herb. A friend purchased for me from a Chinese apothecary attached to an acupuncture clinic she had visited. She said she saw it and simply knew it had to come to me. She was unsure what herb it was, and though I’ve researched it for years, I’ve never been able to identify it either. But I wire-wrapped it, and often wear it – isn’t it fabulous?
This one makes me smile every time I see it. It’s a brooch made from the discarded lens of a pair of glasses, and a wonderful example of reverse glass painting. It’s actually pretty heavy to wear, so needs to be pinned on something sturdy. These days I mostly keep it pinned on a hanging cloth runner and drape a few necklaces from it. I like to thing the necklaces are received in the spirit of offerings, and are also well-guarded.
I consider this a fabulous treasure – it’s a Carrier Shell. During its life the creature gathers bits, shells, coral, stones, and “glues” them to its own shell.
I love this on so many levels. As a gatherer and collector myself, I know the thrill of gathering and the beauty I see in my collections. But I also hear the message that balance is important. Too much of anything is as just problematic and challenging as not having enough. I’ve come to know over the years how truly important it is to me to only have those things that bring me joy and happiness. I keep the shell on one of my altars, and use it to ponder frequently, what am I carrying?
So there you have it – a peek at a few of my trangams. Do you have a penchant for odd things? Is something showing up for you, like spirals are for me? Do you think about what you’re carrying? Do tell – you know I love to hear,