"We are on less familiar ground when we consider objects as companions to our emotional lives or as provocations to thought. ... We think with the objects we love; we love the objects we think with."-Sherry Turkle, The Things That Matter
I have a defibrilator sewn into my skin underneath my left arm. I cannot get rid of it. It was installed by the cardiologists at the University of Michigan Hospital. When they put it in, my skin had to stretch over the new, foreign object. It hurt unlike anything I'd ever known.
I found this rock on the beach at Nehalem Bay State Park. It was half-buried in the wet sand on the part of the beach that's half-wet but still sold. I was extremely struck by how smooth it was, and I took it with me. Now it lives on my desk.
My engagement ring came from my fiancé, though I helped pick it out. It's from the jeweller Brilliant Earth. It officially lives on my left hand, except when I sleep, and then it lives in a little painted bowl on my nightstand.
My tangle toy helps me stir in a less noticeable way. Most people with autism stir even as adults and tangles help us do it discreetly. My tangle was a gift from a fellow friend with autism who gifted it to me my first term at OSU and I have had it in my purse ever since.
Pick an object that you brought with you today. Perhaps it's a novel or textbook that also brought you here. Maybe it's something you carry with you all the time - a meaningful keychain, jewelry, photograph, or another memento. Maybe it's last night's movie stub - or it might not be your object at all, but you are the one carrying it. All these things have hidden stories that reflect our identities that we can share.