Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Different Kind of Business Profile.

At Mount Pleasant Magazine we do a great many business profiles for East Cooper companies -- and as managing editor, I strive for profiles that are well done and interesting -- even when it's a topic that doesn't strike a chord within me personally.

Other times, something does strike a chord, yet I have to keep the business profile Not so on my blog, however! So, in the spirit of letting y'all know how I really feel about a particular business here in Mount P, I decided to post about Celadon, one of our advertisers in the spring issue.

Once upon a time, my best friend Anna had me over for dinner at her house on a weekly basis. She had this really great shrimp pasta, with cheese sprinkled on top, that she would make on Sunday afternoons, and she served it in these elegant bowls that were higher on one side than the other.

We'd talk about our lives, and I'd look around her apartment, admiring her ever-elegant taste. She had a sofa that I downright coveted. Though she'd generously given me her former sofa, a hand-me-down i accepted gracefully, I couldn't stop myself from lusting after the new sofa in its soft teal hue.

We'd sit in the living room after dinner, and she'd light a couple of fancy candles with matches that she retrieved from a long box embossed with birds unfurling their lavender wings. I know -- at this point you're thinking it all sounds frivolous. And perhaps it was. But it was beautiful to me; the trinkets that Anna shared inside her home seemed to go so well with our conversations about love, our careers, our destinies as poets and our goals for the future.

Celadon happened to be one of Anna's favorite places in Mount Pleasant to find everything, from her furniture to her dish towels. There were a couple of occasions when she'd drag me inside the store to look at something -- until I realized I didn't need to be dragged; I wanted to shop there. But, unlike Anna, I couldn't afford much.

After Anna passed away a few years ago, I found myself venturing into Celadon from time to time. I found myself looking at things that I know Anna would have liked and thinking back to her apartment: about the bookshelves, stacked with volumes of poetry, and the coffee table, spread with papers to grade, half-written drafts and nubby candles that smelled of hyacinth.

It's interesting how mere things cannot possess any meaning unless we assign meaning to them. When we do, they become almost like living things, despite being objects.

One day, I bought myself a long box of those matches. I don't remember what I paid for them. I loved them so dearly, I kept them in the room with me all the time. And whenever I'd light something with their flames, I'd think of Anna.

Anna, reading a poem at a coffee shop.