Wednesday, March 11, 2009

On Collecting

I have been thinking lately about how we collect "things" in our lives and what those things come to represent to us. How much meaning, heart, and soul live in our collections?

Several years ago when I left my position with an architectural firm, I left behind the library of materials that I had compiled over the 9+ years I spent with the firm. My collection of stone, tile, wood, paint, wall covering, fabric, catalogs, etc. were a part of my career story, but they were also beautiful objects that I had come to value, appreciate, and create with. The sample collection was not just a tool, it was part of me. The brown mohair and the gold wool boucle fabric, the yummy black brown maron cohiba granite, the rich zebra wood sample, the wonderful Ralph Lauren suede paint, the Oceanside Glass tiles, the Artemide catalog with the great Tolomeo fixture, and on and on...these pieces made up my collection, were like friends, and they spoke to me. Sadly, the collection remained behind at my old firm and I began the process of collecting again. My new sample collection is coming along; it's growing and evolving, some old friends rediscovered and some new friends joining the party.

As I muse about my various collections; recipes, shells, books, wine, antique dishes, (I confess to having many)...I ask my husband what "things" make up his personal collection and I am once again told the story of his prized Gibson SG guitar - the foundation piece of his guitar collection. I am reminded by him of his collection story; how he was 18 years old and saved for the prized instrument, how he and the instrument have survived many of life storms together, and how it still brings him happiness and comfort today.

How much joy can be gotten from a simple sea shell, a piece of music, or a beautiful painting - experienced again and again? How much richer are our lives because we humans collect?

My newest addition to my sample library - Escarpment Marble from Niagara

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Love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!