There’s Just Something About Gnomes

(Originally posted May 10, 2013)

I started reading online about suicide running in families and got depressed after two web pages. I started a blog post about how I experience depression as rage, and realized it’s going to take a long time and many drafts to describe it well. And to make it worth reading.So now, for something completely different and not depressing, I’m going to confess a deep, dark, well, not particularly deep or dark secret. I have a thing for gnomes. Garden gnomes actually. “Fetish” sounds creepy, “fascination” isn’t quite it, and neither is “obsession”. So it’s just a “thing” I have. I love garden gnomes. They make me happy. They are the embodiment of “idyllic” (extremely happy, peaceful, or picturesque).My favorite gnomes look slightly drunk, like they’ve just had a few pints of Guinness or butterbeer. They remind me that there are still moments in life that can be carefree, innocent, or just plain silly.

They also speak to the part of me that wants to believe in magic. I studied Scandinavian folklore at UCLA, and I remember my professor talking about “nisse,” household spirits who help take care of farmers’ homes and families. It’s not like I believe my garden gnomes will brush our cat or keep away the raccoons (if they’re supposed to, they’re clearly doing a crap job), but I’d rather have a garden gnome as a good luck charm than a rabbit’s foot any day.

Garden gnomes are usually older folks, and I suppose I romanticize what it’ll be like when I’m 80 years old. That I’ll have lived through so much I’ll finally stop worrying and just accept life as it comes. I’ll feel more gratitude than regret. I’ll know with certainty that in the end, everything is going to be okay.

I like turtle statues and Buddha statues (the smiling, dancing ones anyway), and the sleeping kitty statues, but there’s just something about garden gnomes that makes me feel welcome and at home.

If you want to see irreverent garden gnome photos, follow me on Twitter (@prtndurgoodatit).

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