Sunday, September 27, 2009

My collection

From a very early age (oh dear, here we go again. Another one of Deity's posts about how he was as a kid - 'fraid so), my favorite places in the world to spend my time were museums. I loved their quiet, church-like solemnity. People spoke in hushed tones, whispering, as if the artifacts were sacred relics (some in fact were) that shouldn't be disturbed. And, contrary to what most must assume, it wasn't just art museums I adored. No in fact. It was all museums. Natural History museums. Transit museums. Military museums. Art museums. Sports Museums. Hell, I'd even go to a toothpick museum, as long as there were objects, on display preferably (and actually a very important detail) behind glass cases.

It turns out that this is a rather prevalent part of my psyche. I've always loved collecting things: stamps, business cards, soil - you name it, i would find a way to gather and archive it. Whatever the collectible, the most important component was the container I kept it in. I preferred that it was see-through. Something about looking at the contents, captured, yet protected and preserved gave me peace; as if i were relieved that they couldn't get away but also, nothing could get to them. I thrilled at the task of cataloging these individual specimens, taking great care to label each with the contents that lie inside. But just as enjoyable was my process of orderly and meticulously putting these treasures away.

I liked knowing I had these little bundles stored in my closet or stacked meticulously on my shelf. By possessing them, I took on the very serious role as their caretaker. I looked after them, made certain they remained organized and cleaned and gave them copious amounts of my attention. I felt total ownership of them, and as a result they were completely and totally mine.


Anonymous said...

Hi Hi Mr D:
Girls would relate to this desire as they feel that way, too!
They like to visit shoe stores. They look at all the shoes: flat ones, high ones, boots; suede, leather, all the colors and styles. They take them home and keep them in boxes all nice and snug, and they get a warm glow just thinkin bout dem.


Jz said...

Did I hear someone mention shoes??

ooo, shoes in see-through boxes...

littlegirl said...

i just want to say that those posts where mr. deity talks about his childhood are my very most favorite treats. don't hold back, please!

Lulu said...

The photo caught my attention. I've always liked orderly collections as well. They give such a sense of satisfaction. My satisfaction doesn't stem as much from the ownership as it does from the pleasure I get when I have amassed a sizable enough collection that I begin to think I truly "understand" or "know" whatever it is I've gathered. My Mac has now become the keeper of some of my most prized collections. One of current fascination is the extremely detailed pen and ink drawings of old curiosity closets or shops. I've found several online and can stare at them for hours trying to identify the detailed minutia some unknown artist spent endless hours creating. So, I am now collecting pictures of collections. Thus your photo caught my eye. Insightful post.


PS - My guess is you've been to the Natural History Museum at Harvard. A collector's paradise. And the Victoria and Albert in London. The collections are amazing.

Deity said...

they like to put things in boxes, but how do they feel about being put in boxes themselves?

...and girls in see-through boxes.

really? well, i never knew.

It's so funny. Just got back from London and tramped through the V&A. And you are correct, the collections were intoxication for my cerebrum.