Jacques was never a refugee but somehow always an immigrant. Like many who grow up keenly aware of what they don’t Have, having was a source of comfort to him and collecting was a way of celebrating its variety. Although he was enormously generous, he was not great at letting go of Stuff. On one of my campaigns to divest ourselves of some books (so we would have room for more pots) I asked him to offer up some of ‘his’ books. Alongside my BOXES of these hard-to-relinquish objects, he selected a total of FIVE (books) to give away— one of which he bought again some years later at a yard sale.
Almost everything brought back to Toronto from our Chautauqua apartment and each of our office/studios were offered to the Ripple Refugee Project, which is an ongoing sponsor of Syrian refugees who come to Canada. They were the recipients of mountains of Jacques’ clothing, furniture, linens, housewares, hardware, toys, art etc. They are given a new life in others’ new lives.