We all have Madeleine moments when a memory sparks to life in an atavistic, uncontrolled flash. Proust famously structured the narrative of his epic multi-volume novel À la recherche du temps perdu on the concept of voluntary and involuntary memories. The most famous event in the novel was his memory of the taste of Madeleine cakes.
Your scribe had a Madeleine moment when she reviewed the rug designs of the Classic Rug Collection. But like the quip about London buses – you wait for ages for one to come and then two arrive at once – your scribe didn’t just enjoy one Madeleine moment, but two.
Koi is a hand-knotted New Zealand wool and banana silk rug designed by Dana Vladone for Classic Rug Collection. Nishikigoi are ornamental koi fish. The Japanese word translates to English as “brocaded” fish. How evocative and appropriate for a rug, made more so by the knowledge that in the Japanese language koi is a homophone for the word for “affection” or “love”, making the “brocaded” carp symbols of those virtues. Your scribe’s parents hand built a koi pond in the garden of our Kāneʻohe home. Those happy memories are brought back by Vladone’s design.
The hand tufted linen Volcano rug was designed by Barbara Barran after she visited Italy’s famous Mt Etna. The low loop linen “lava” flows off the edge of the higher pile black ground to create a fish tail fillip to what would otherwise be a traditionally shaped rectangular rug. Doing so captures the essence of lava flows, i.e. flow direction can be predicted but not guaranteed. Your scribe became besotted with volcanoes at a young age when she and family stayed at Volcano House hotel on the rim of the Kilauea volcano in the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.
Find your Madeleine moment. It might be a rug, it might be a photograph, an aroma, or a fragment of music. These opportunities are everywhere, and when we find them and if we are fortunate, they will provide comfort and solace. And isn’t this precisely what our homes and the objects in them are meant to provide? DJ