I was looking at my pottery in the tansu and as my eyes moved to the left and found the large tokkuri, I remembered that the tokkuri was not really something special, it was cheap and a little larger than most most, likley used in a restaurant and “right for the times ” both for the patrons and later for me, but now that was a while back, times have changed, new purchases have been made and stuff I consider more valuable has joined the collection.
And, I remembered, that the reason I put the tokkuri at that exact place in the tansu was that 1) if there was earthquake and the glass shelves came down the tokkuri, along with some strategically placed pottery boxes, would prevent the glass from fallling down on top of the pottery; and 2) If the pieces of wood that held the glass shelves in place—they were thick and heavy—were to give out, i.e. the joint weakened, the tokkuri, along with some strategically placed pottery boxes, would prevent the heavy glass shelf from crashing down on top of the pottery below.
I got to thinking, maybe I had had no respect for the tokkuri—remember when Holly Martins—half way through the film— finally meets Harry LIme in the cabin on the ferris wheel and the wheel is stopped when their cabin is at the top and they are looking down on the people walking around. Harry is talking about squashing ants (meaning people) as if one’s own personal goals may well call up such an ideology. Perhaps my purpose in placing that tokkuri at the specific point was to let it die if there were a problem in the cause of saving pottery I deemed more important.
And yet I suppose that were such a situation to occur and that tokkuri which I deemed so unimportant actually sacrificed itself for my “more important pottery,” I would come to see that tokkuri as having been very important. Sometimes its hard to know what is really important until you lose it yet when you are the one who was lost, no matter how important you really are you never see yourself as being important.