“So many things you have acquired,” said the Master. “You must tell me their stories. What is that there, on the shelf?”

“That is a wedding vase, Master. It belonged to my grandmother.”

“And that?”

“My father’s astrolabe. He bought it from a Chinese seaman in San Francisco.”

The Master nodded. “So many things you have acquired and arranged around you. A story for each of your objects.”

He paused. “It is you who gives them context. When you die, they will lose their meaning. They will be a pearl necklace in a bag with no rope to connect them.”

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