She pulled open her tidy tray and delved into the papery chaos to retrieve a lolly pink pencil case. Remember the ones that came with a swatch of golden card emblazoned with capital letters. It was almost brand new and from her secretive smile one could assume it held something to be treasured. Slowly she unzipped the pouch and began to pull out ice cream cones, cats, teeny tiny pieces of fruit and cars all sickly sweet smelly and vibrant coloured. Her rubber collection was pristine and oh so enviable. I tried in vain to replicate such a thing of beauty yet my often skittish eight year old brain always justified using one of my pretties to rub out some smudgy line of text or such. My pencil case soon held only a collection of worn edged, lead stained orbs of rubber neither lovely nor overly useful. Rubber collecting was not for me.
I dabbled in stamp collecting. A regal hobby with ordered lines, fragile vellum paper pages and talon like tweezers for retrieval and exact positioning. I always felt somehow like a puzzle piece from the sky section of a panoramic scene that looks "kinda" right but had to be pressed in more firmly than it should. No matter how hard I tried I just didn't fit. Knowing myself far better these days it is crystal clear why such a collection was a dismal failure.
But faded patinas, chips and cracks, aged hard wood and dove tail joins. Glorious pieces of handcrafted furniture worn by time and use and further aged by neglect. These elegant beauties of by gone eras are on my behalf regularly and many could vouch...rather additively hunted out. A bevelled mirror tucked behind the Ab-serciser 2000 at the local flea market. The tall and proud silky oak gentleman languishing on the side of the road. The shamed "turned leg" lady hiding behind layer upon layer of gaudy makeup. The cast out, the no longer loved...the beautiful. I bring it home with the pomp and ceremony of a Papal parade and nurture each piece like a brand new kitten. Old furniture..now that's my collection.
What do you collect? Were you one of those gorgeous tidy girls with enviable rubber collections?
In eleven days this lovely soul will fulfill a dream...please give her a hand to get there.