A chair is still a chair even if there is no one sitting there – so, goes a line of an old song. No doubt, yet even a chair may a have story worth telling if one only sees it with one’s heart.
Of all, I choose this chair. This because it’s old, made of wood and avow of old money – mounds of money, perhaps. And this in particular, because it seems to have it all. This woodwork is seasoned, imbued with character and craftsmanship that can only be described as a labor of love and the promise of stories of times past.
This chair is old and frayed with patches of thinning wood stains on some areas that lay bare its woodiness. The visible wood grains follow imaginary sinuous contours of alternating light and dark tracts that tell of its growth at diverse seasons. Although the grains follow a serpentine-like path, it is ultimately concentric and whose spider web appearance is permanently fossilized into the wood. At its center is a dark soft, corky wood matter. This Achilles is carved out and refilled with body filler and sealed.
The armrests, by far, are most worn out among its parts. If these were fabric, it must be threadbare. Years of use scuffed and shaped the wood into submission, making the ergonomically designed armrest more ergonomic. And the painstaking dexterity of the master’s chisel, are all too apparent of his penchant for details.
Upon closer look, you’ll realize there is no straight line in this chair. Nothing on it is level; every part bends. The two front posts are so misshapen that, when taken apart, one wouldn’t be able to tell it’s from a rocking chair. At some point it tapers, curves inwards and outwards – even the whole backrest warps to hug the unsuspecting soul. It is bent in more ways just to bring about that that aesthetic feel.
Sitting in one of these don’t just assuage one’s grief and relieve tired bones, one feels the ghost of days of yore. Folklore has it that spirits inhabit forests and woodlands; and when we cut down a tree and shape it into furniture, we take them unto that piece to cohabit among the living. But that’s a story for another day.
Like most woodwork it has a tale to tell. It may only be a chair to you, its lyric poetry to me encapsulated in a chair.