A walking stick, a club, dirty laundry, boxes, a skillet, a sword, a spoon—can such everyday objects tell us secrets or foretell our future? Can they feel pain or act immorally? How much of us can our things hold, and how much of them can we absorb?
“We are attached to the possession of a thing because we think that if we cease to possess it, it will cease to exist,” wrote the French philosopher Simone Weil. Robert Long Foreman might very well be making a version of Weil’s argument in his book of essays, Among Other Things, in which we quickly learn that a possessed thing can, in fact, contain life—or frequently death.