For a while now, I have been noticing that the beautiful Indian pulkhari textile on my bed is fading. The background color has gone from a vibrant coral to a faded orange, and the embroidery has simply disintegrated, one color at a time. (It still had some blue here, and lots of pink, here.) At first, I sort of vaguely suspected that it was changing, and then, all of a sudden, it became very clear when I posted an old photograph from my bedroom in the same post as a current picture, but the damage was already done.
This is one of those things about decorating: it is not forever. Organic materials change. Use wears away at things. Buttons pop on upholstery, kids leave stains, pets scratch floors and furniture. Even if you decorate appropriately for your lifestyle, nothing stays pristine.
I absolutely believe in using what you have. Our wedding china is very expensive, but I would rather use it and delight in it, even if it means chips or even a broken dish here or there, than leave it on the shelf. Having that textile on our bed was one of my favorite vignettes in the house. It made me think of the store where I bought it--now defunct--and the early days of my brother and sister-in-laws relationship (she was with my mom and I shopping, and spotted the textile first.) It reminded me of Clio's tiny toddler room in Brooklyn. For a while, I let it fade because using it made me happy.
But then I freaked out and moved it to a chair, still in the room but out of the line of direct sunlight.
And I tell myself that it is good to move things around and keep it loose.
Tell me: Have you loved and lost any precious objects? My heart broke a little when one of my daughters knocked over a ginger jar at my mom's, left to her by my grandmother. But of course life goes on.