Brand building through storytelling

My secret bond with Jimmy Page

Jimmy Page and I have a secret bond. Yes, that Jimmy Page, the celebrated Led Zeppelin guitarist.And no, I’ve never been a groupie. Jimmy doesn’t know that I exist, but I know what’s bugging him these days—the exquisite anguish of relinquishment. Jimmy has run out of wall space for his museum-class collection of Pre-Raphaelite art. With two mansions, he still can’t accommodate his tapestry of the Holy Grail. Oh, Jimmy, I feel your pain. I’m downsizing to a loft with extra-high ceilings and precious few walls. Now there’s nowhere to put my custom-made neon art, a sign emblazoned with my signature in blue. The artist worked from a canceled cheque I had signed. As a flourish, he added an exclamation mark in the shape of a pen.

Jimmy’s tapestry is worth $2 million, it’s said. My sign is worth bubkes to everyone but me. My husband commissioned it as a long-ago Christmas gift—the most astoundingly original and personal gift I’ve ever received. I have told my husband more than once, “If I’m ever run over by the proverbial bus, this sign will be useless to your second wife.”

In our last house, the sign hung in our kitchen, as if Rona! were a neighbourhood bistro. In the condo we’re now vacating, it wound up tucked behind a door because no other spot combined sufficient wall space with a handy electrical outlet. Now we can’t display the sign without giving up a slew of other treasures, not that there’s any way on earth to hang it all. Lots will have to go, but what? The kilims my mother left me? A few of my father’s lyrical paintings? Our collection of framed magazine covers dating back to the 1890s? Oh, the agony of editing!

When I first aspired to “have it all,” I was thinking of career and family (plus a kitchen reno and the my first designer suit). Now I try to hang onto the best of what I’ve got, or as much as will fit into my downscaled life. I’m facing a William Blake moment:

He who binds to himself a joy

Doth the winged life destroy;

But he who kisses the joy as it flies

Lives in eternity’s sunrise.

Then again, this is also a Jimmy Page moment. Because as long as I can contemplate a few things of beauty, carefully chosen and maintained through the years, I will have my own Stairway to Heaven.

Posted by Rona

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