There’s a story that changes each time in its telling, about the youngest (or was it the oldest?) of the three world-ruling daughters, the ones who scorched the continents and left no heirs or letters. The youngest daughter was once loved widely, by suitors from every terrain, and of each suitor, stricken by her sureness, she made the same demand: that they try to make her happy.
[Clockwise from top left: Copper and glass display cases from YAOKi; 1962 copper and rosewood lamp from OldandCold; Leaping antelope pill box from pollygolightly; Hexagonal malachite box from HoneywellHome; Deer head antique pin from adinaantiquejewelry; Atomic mid-century planter from GallivantingGirls; Clustered deer antler tip necklace from RustandRam.]
The gods overheard this and — because they are gods and have nothing better to do than to meddle — decided to give the youngest daughter what she asked for, a human heart that would never know sadness. They sent a minor deity, who otherwise plays no known role in our mythologies, to numb her taste for salt, so that she might never accidentally swallow anything that reminded her of sorrow. She would mourn for nothing, the gods decreed, and lament would never seize her sleep. She would appraise the world for what it is and not how it might have been.
[Clockwise from top left: Retro spring jumpy shoes from bellalulu; Cloud oil painting by Luckyhemlock; Vintage canvas sailing flag from AGOLFR; Blue and white vinyl chair from uulipolli; Victorian braided lavalier necklace from TheHiddenChamber; 12 point Moravian star from TheVintageRoad2Retro; Antique Russian merchant ring from PicardiJewelers.]
It’s a small consolation to the transcribers of our myths that the gods seem at least as befuddled by us as we are befuddled by them. Without sadness, the youngest daughter was no longer struck through by longing, which gives shape to our days, and grew restless and began a campaign of terror, laying waste to the lands of the failed suitors — to those who hadn’t tried hard enough to bring her happiness, and especially to those who tried.
[Clockwise from top left: Brass hook ring from HeroKing; Vintage Moroccan rag rug from MOROCCANTRIBALART; Sterling silver salt spoons from SusabellaBrownstein; Clay and crystal houses from AlpenartStudio; 1970s amoeba shaped tray from YAOKi; Indigo dyed pillow from GrahamKeegan.]
The stories of the other two daughters and the origins of their wars are lost to oblivion just as oblivion demands almost every tale of vengeance, and so too might have gone the story of the youngest daughter. But sadness is something different and more resilient. At first the suitors only murmured the name of the youngest daughter, in their scattered recollections of the things that had hurt, until the sadness reattached around her, no myth without a tragedy — the flimsiness and inconsequence of mortal life doing nothing to diminish the heartbreak of living it.
Su Wu of I'm Revolting continues to compile a list of the things, places and misinterpreted philosophies that somehow manage to coalesce into a well-lived life. These narrative-driven collections will find you stealing out of your alternate personas' closets.