Every day I go for a walk at lunch time. Very occasionally I’ll happen across a discarded item of clothing: a missing glove, hat, necklace etc.
This in and of itself is pretty unremarkable. It’s never anything that makes me think I should get the police involved; people lose stuff. The one thing I do find remarkable, though, (and what has prompted me to photograph said items) is that they’re very often adorning an inanimate object. I have a theory as to why.
It’s not elves. Or pixies. But it is a being that hides itself away and only comes out when no-one’s looking.
You might have encountered a Human at some point in your life. They’re not to be confused with People. People are everywhere. People pack themselves into the London Underground every day and wilfully ignore each other. Humans occasionally emerge and offer to help people up the steps on the way out with their oversized wheelie suitcases – even when they’re not wearing high-vis jackets.
I don’t know what it is about an abandoned necklace that brings the Human out of People. Take the photo below. I can only think empathy for being panic stricken in having lost something must’ve driven the Human to break their stride, stoop down and assist. They took the time to reach down, pick the necklace up, unclasp it, thread it through the railings and clasp it again in the hope that it would be more visible to its owner on the gate than the floor.
This doesn’t sound like a big deal, and in terms of physical exertion I suppose it isn’t. It takes maybe 5 seconds to put a hat on a fence post. But after that it stands as a wooly purple totem that somewhere there’s a Human looking out for you. And that’s always nice to be reminded of.