You know how some things just call to you, whether or not it is practical or reasonable for you to want them? In December of last year, I was at a holiday craft fair in Brooklyn and I found myself at this vintage toy stall. Above it was hanging this lovely Japanese papercraft mobile. I marvelled at it for a moment, checked the price, and then walked on.
For the next hour, after having seen many hundreds of other items in the fair, my mind kept coming back to that mobile. It seemed a frivolous purchase, a fairly expensive and useless decoration that I would have to schlep from New York to California soon.
So I bought it.
I learned later that the dolls are paper representations of Kokeshi, an ancient wooden doll from Northern Japan that some believe were symbols of mountain spirits. They were given to children to protect them until adulthood, and then traditional burned to release the spirit. So perhaps the papercraft mobile version is a modern take on this protective spirit.
It's now finally hanging in my Oakland apartment and I'm pleased as punch. Maybe it will protect this new home.