Photographer: Emerson Cooper
Crucifixes and keys, these were the things I collected as a child and teen. No dolls or stuffed animals, hard metal objects that held significance for me that remains poetic. It started with crosses, all kinds. Many of them I accumulated on our visits to St John the Divine. I am agnostic, my mother is a Jew, and I went to a progressive Episcopalian school and never participated in Eucharist, by choice. But the symbol of the crucifix was magical to me. On every cross, literally or figuratively, Jesus was murdered. I am still drawn to the shape of the symbol; it’s simple intersecting lines. As I got older my collection morphed into keys. I found them in second hand shops, junk stores and flea markets. Master train keys, ornate keys separated from their beautiful ornate counterpart; roll top desk, jewelry box… I adorned the side of my jeans with all of them gathered on clasp and set at my waist. I clanked as I walked and I simply loved my keys. Now I wonder at the odd nature of my fascinations with these things. It occurs to me that the former is in nature something that is special and recognized universally; a brand that has the lost be found. The latter, the chastity of a key, gives promise of unlocking something, releasing what has been missed, a possibility for finding what is lost. What a clever child I was.
© 2012 Leslie I Partridge Sachs