How do we know that something is ours? A recent profile of musician Regina Spektor in the New York Times reminds me that often it’s a flaw that makes an object personal. According to the story, Spektor and her father, Ilya, an amateur violinist and professional photographer, were cleaning their home together one Sunday when an accident occurred:

“We were dusting stuff, and he dropped a crystal vase onto the piano and chipped off a bunch of wood. He was so upset. But to me it became my favorite part of the piano, it was how I knew it was my piano — it was the one with the chip in it.”

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