July 1st, 2010

I keep a little bowl of “treasures” on a table in my living room, and I shuffle them around and add to them periodically. If you sorted through them, you’d find, among other things, a Mahjong tile, a pipe bowl shaped like a skull, a marble eye and the glitter bird from last Christmas. Some of the objects have personal connections, and some I collect like a magpie just for their shiny beauty. The little goddess presides over all. I don’t have collections of things because I’m not single-minded enough or focused enough to follow through on creating a herd of elephants on a shelf or a wall of Chinese export plates. None of my treasures have value except to give me a shiver of inspiration whenever I sort through the bowl or add a new piece. Why did I save the fossil or the tiny blue mummy or the crystal from a chandelier? What are they saying, what life force do they hold? I’m never completely sure why I’m driven to keep one thing and toss another, but I think it’s because the ones I hang onto are silent, iconic messages from my unconscious.

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