May 4: my little knife or my ming vase?

If I were to give a value to the items I had got the best use out of over the year the results would in no way correspond to the monetary value of those items. I have a little sharp knife that I use for all peeling and cutting of vegetables, fruit, meat and fish. I think I bought this knife from a supermarket for about £3 about twenty years ago. I do not use this knife for buttering, for cutting bread or for eating, but I use it for the rest. Over the years it has given me more pleasure and utility than any other object in my possession, I suppose. Items in my possession on which I have spent a (relatively) large amount of money rarely give me much pleasure. For one reason, I rarely use them. But more than this, the care with which I use them takes away from the ease that I might feel with them, how comfortable I am in their presence. When my best knife breaks (if ever it does) it will be a sadder moment than when I drop my Ming vase (have no fear, I don’t have one) or when I accidentally tear my Gucci trainers (likewise). The value of my best knife resides in how it fits into my palm, how it knows my thoughts. Its value is that it is close to you. The distance between you and it has disolved. With luxury items their value are that they are distant from you. Best possessions are familiar creatures, not creatures that you admire from afar.

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