Ravens & Lilies

There is a noticeable proportion of objects in my possession that I have not paid for, though very few could be considered “stolen” (and those are merely indefinite borrowings from my grandma Bernie, but she doesn’t know that, so don’t tell her). Instead, it’s recognized as the generosity of those in my life, and a God who cares for me. Some are traditional presents, some just random gifts. Some I found, others I asked for. I received some new, others used. Some became mine recently, others have been since middle school. Documenting this much generosity is nearly overwhelming. Many of the images present in situ because these are objects that remain active in my life. As such, this will be on going as I come across more objects already possessed and those not yet (not to mention what’s in storage).
“He said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens; they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:22-34

This also functions as a “coming clean” about my perceived identity. Some of these things may be curated, in a sense; many items, the clothes in particular, are objects beyond my means which were simply received as gifts. As these items are used, however, by others to identify, categorize and judge, only erroneous conclusions could be reached about me based on them. In that regard, this collection has indeed functioned as an intentional subversion of those cultural tendencies, but of course only to the extent that can be achieved with free things.

  • 117 Piece Tool Set : Scott Coté : dad
  • Calligraphy pen and sketch book : Aaron and Maria Wood : friends
  • N. Michigan moss : Andrew and Abby Layer : friends
  • Deer figurines : previous Hamtramck residence
  • Zatar t-Shirt : Fiona Ruddy : friend
  • Button-up : Ian Simkins : friend
  • Polo hoodie and button-up : David Coté : uncle
  • Blueberry Cobbler : Kristen : friend
  • Turkey Call : Scott Coté : dad
  • Measuring tape : found
  • Haircut (for 10+ years) : Diane Coté : aunt
  • Bike : Scott Coté : dad
  • Golf clubs : John Szczepkowski : uncle
  • Car : Scott Coté : dad
  • Car stereo : Scott Coté : dad
  • Wine : Kristyn Driver : sister
  • Wine aerator : Shell Michelsen : aunt
  • Ice cream maker : Beth and Scott Coté : mom and dad
  • Sister and me photo and frame : Jen Szczepkowski : aunt
  • Nephew photo : Kristyn Driver : sister
  • Incense : Shell Michelsen and Jen Szcsepkowski : aunts
  • Swiss Army Knife : Clyde and Cora Jones : former employers
  • Rocks : beach
  • Venezuela decoration : Amy Shuflin : friend
  • Golf game : Shell Michelsen : aunt
  • Glass bottle with party popper : Jesse Swenson : friend
  • Notepad : Alyson Vrazo : ex-girlfriend
  • Table and art books (under table) : previous Hamtramck residence
  • Vintage headband : Bernie Coté : grandma
  • Polo polos and belt : David Coté : uncle
  • Trunk and globe : freecycle
  • Back to Basics book : Beth Coté : mom
  • Brownie Hawkeye "borrowed" : Bernie Coté : grandma
  • Philodendron : Juanita Vrazo : friend's mom
  • Iron and flashlight : pervious Hamtramck residence
  • Backgammon : Shell Michelsen : aunt
  • Honey : Scott Coté (and his bees) : dad
  • Dice game : Christmas gift pass game
  • Old gun safety certificate : found
  • Parking ticket : the City of Detroit
  • Stack of magazines : David Coté : uncle
  • Matchbook : previous Hamtramck residence
  • Rock : beach
  • Maroon cardigan : Indok Park : friend
  • White and maroon shirt : David Lamb : friend
  • Green button up : Eric Driver : brother in law
  • Blue jacket and white jacket were previous generation Coté boys'
  • Brown hoodie : Lisa Vrazo : friend
  • Loose tea pot : Bernie Coté : grandma
  • Green mug was great-grandma D's
  • Two suits on left (two more in storage) : Scott Coté : dad
  • Tuxedo jacket : Dan Davidson : friend
  • Vest : Del Ray Loven : college art department chair
  • Fedora : Amy Shuflin : friend
  • Ukulele : David Lamb : friend
  • "Borrowed" both from old closet at the old cottage : Bernie Coté : grandma
  • Soccer cleats : Nate Mullen : friend
  • Jordans : previous neighbor
  • Florsheim by Duckie Brown shoes : Jeremy Espersen : friend
  • Tennis racket : Mark Salisbury : friend
  • Racquetball equipment : Scott Coté : dad
  • Dresser : previous Hamtramck residence
  • Drawer of boxers : Bernie Coté : grandma
  • My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers : Beth Coté : mom
  • Wallet : Beth Coté from her grandma : mom
  • Homemade beeswax moisturizer : Beth Coté : mom
  • Magnet on moisturizer : Hannah Lewis : friend
  • External Pocket : David Lamb : friend
  • Luther's Small Catechism : Shepherd's Gate Lutheran Church
  • All : David Coté: uncle
  • Three long-sleeve Polo dress shirts
  • Two short-sleeve Polo dress shirts
  • Polo golf shirt
  • Vacuum pot : Kristyn Driver : sister
  • Nutella : Beth Coté : mom
  • Tea thermos : Shell Michelsen : aunt
  • Orange plaid coat and blue vest was previous generation Coté
  • Brown coat was uncle Craig Coté's
  • Blue plaid coat : Rachel Dente : friend
  • Typewriter : freecyle
  • Photograph : Kristyn Driver : sister
  • Postcard : Kate Siscoe : friend
  • Candy cigarette's : Bernie Coté : grandma
  • Save the date card : Jason Thompson : friend
  • Radio and lamp : previous Hamtramck residence
  • Handmade phone case : Abby Layer : friend
  • Glif : Found at bus stop
  • All : David Coté : uncle
  • Green vintage Sir Jac jacket
  • Polo rugbys
  • Polo plaids
  • Woolrich Hunting suit : Steve Boelstler : first cousin once-removed
  • Mattresses : Beth and Scott Coté : mom and dad
  • Down duvet : Bernie Coté : grandma
  • Sheets : Beth and Scott Coté : mom and dad
  • Tie-blanket : Bernie Coté : grandma
  • Plaid scarf found blowing through Chicago streets
  • Blue scarf knitted : Sarah Miller : friend
  • Multi-Color scarf knitted : Amanda Kelly : friend
  • Green flat cap was great-grandpa Jack Ward's
  • Camo hat : Alan Blankenship : friend's dad
  • Grey flat cap : BethAnn and Scott Coté : mom and dad
  • Safari hat : Laura Hollingsworth : mission team leader
  • Red Izod hat : David Lamb : friend
  • Fur hat and gloves : previous Hamtrmack residence
  • Computer : Beth and Scott Coté : mom and dad
  • Wacom tablet : Sharon Buttry : pastor
  • Flower seeds : Holy Cross Polish National Catholic Church
  • Bee transporter : Scott Coté : dad
  • Flowers : Sharon Buttry's flower garden : pastor
  • Book (borrowed) : Jonathan Ammon : friend
  • Postcard : Christine Law : first cousin once-removed
  • Harmonica : Beth and Scott Coté : mom and dad
  • Cigar box (filled with knick knacks) : previous Hamtramck residence
  • Jew's Harp : Janel Meyers : pastor's wife
  • Survival an Atomic Attack booklet : previous Hamtramck residence
  • Couch : previous residence
  • Shotgun (borrowed) : Jim Dzieciolowski : grandpa