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the mighty impact of little things

Cubby hole filled with polaroids, letters, and tidbits

Ever since ever, I have lived in the details. I feel welcomed home in the presence of the littlest objects, nuances, and -isms that mean something so much more than their mere size alone. Little things are significant.

Growing up hapa*, I was surrounded by carefully crafted objects, delicate patterns, kawaii characters, and the thoughtful, balanced flavor and essence found in every chawan, stationery set, fabric, and decoration I held most dear. My mother taught me that every detail had a purpose no matter how small. I studied the delicate textures and minute flecks of gold interwoven into origami paper and deemed them special. I noticed the delightfully faultless way she gift wrapped presents and learned that the wrapping was just as important as the contents within. I watched her rubber stamp with care and precision, embossing just the portions of rubber she wished to rise up from the paper, and learned that 'small' was something to delight in rather than deem insignificant or immaterial.

The smaller the object, the more I'm drawn to its details in wonder. Tiny things beckon me in for closer examination with an unspoken invitation to step closer. And to do so is to be let in on a sort of secret as you take in every intricacy that might be otherwise overlooked or missed.

Kimberly's shelf with a ceramic bowl, dish, and tiny pin by Lithops Studio

As far as character traits go, tiny objects and patterns hold no sense of demand or presumption- they're rather considerate in that way. Instead of vying for attention or taking it without asking, they seem as though their primary vocation is to be nearby for the tender souls who understand them and are continually in search of gentle places to rest their eyes away from all the commotion.

Little things possess a mighty impact all their own. A little bit of lace draws me back to roots and creativity and things more sure. Words that have made their way across vast miles tucked into travel-worn envelopes from faraway friends can change the entire course of a day once opened. A knowing look between sisters across countertop meals at the end of long days may only last a second, but reveal a deeply significant connection only they two know. A keepsake tucked away for safekeeping may appear 'mere' or 'inconsequential', but carry way-back memories or hold a key to something cherished and treasured in tangible form.

Little things make an impact through subtle nuance and intentional tidbits that deepen our initial understanding of what they are, how they were made, and what they signify. They are the bits of wonder and whimsy that add depth of imagination to a day, space, experience, story, memory.

And in joint company, they have the ability to weave together forming the loveliest net for fastening anchor points between 'here' and 'there' and 'now' and 'next', and affirm or express who we are in ways that the rest of the world cannot. In the midst of much, the smallest things tether me to light-filled goodness and remind me of all the ‘else’ that resides outside of all of ‘this.’


{*hapa = a person who is partially of Asian or Pacific Islander decent.

In my case, half Nihonjin American and half white American.}

Words + Photography: © Kimberly 國子Taylor-Pestell

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Welcome to the personal blog of of Kimberly Kuniko, a Nikkei American illustrator, collage artist, poet, and host of cozy, virtual guided creative retreats with a new theme each month.

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