The imaginary cup

Treasures transgress the lines, the laws that separate present and past at certain garage sales.

Some of them want to make the leap so bad, they continue to hang out after the sale is over.

a 1930's tea cup in yellow and white with hand painted flowers This is a cup I got for free because after the Great Glebe garage sale was done and as we wound our way back down the several blocks that separated us from our car, we found the porches and alleys dotted with the remnants of the sale. Items people did not feel like hauling back inside. Instead, the gentle people of the Glebe will sometimes even put little signs along with the items: "take me!", "free!"

Or maybe it's only the items trying to avoid destruction, the items that do not want to simply fade away.

I helped this cup make the leap.

I took it home and now realize why it has pride of place in my hutch. With its primary colours on a conventional background and shape, it looks like a pretend version of a cup. It reminds me of early films and painted sets that are larger than life.

It invites me into the pretend world of Pippi Longstocking where the imaginary becomes real and horses can be found wearing polka dots. With a cup like this in hand, you ask yourself "what else will make the leap and become real?" I'm drawn back to Parc Belmont, an amusement park now long gone from Montreal, where child size houses stood ready for us to bring the imaginary to life as we pretended to be on the stage of a famous theatre or sitting at a sunny café in front of a fake, but nonetheless scrumptious looking, plaster version of an ice cream sundae.

Objects like this vintage hand painted cup and its vivid colours remind me of the abandoned freedom found in the uncomplicated games of childhood, toys in colours somehow more real than life.

It's a carefreeness that is easier to revive than one might think. A sure bet to get that feeling will be to take part once again in the carnival atmosphere of the Great Glebe garage sale and remember how to make the imaginary come to life.

This year's Great Glebe garage sale of several blocks is on the 24th of May and you can read more about it here. And yes,my husband, our two best friends and I have booked a hotel in Ottawa to be sure and start rummaging nice and early in the morning.