Little Pieces of Life

Emma muses on her inclination to collect little pieces of life as it passes by.

I have always been a collector. Almost by accident, things follow me home and are cheerfully hoarded, no reason for their existence in my life apart from that I’d found them. Old postcards, to pore over the messages written on the back. Green glass bottles, found on the beach. A broken typewriter, bought instead of the milk on the shopping list. I’m not a naturally tidy person, but every so often, I attempt to clean up my life, Marie-Kondo style. I vow to put all my ephemera into neat scrapbooks, organise my drawers into piles of perfectly functional items. Maybe it’s a subconscious thing –  if I can order my external world properly, my internal world might follow? Tidy house = tidy mind, right?

I go through phases, taking a few days to furiously organise, recycle, donate. My room transforms, from curiosity shop to show room. But inevitably, the tide rises; the bowls of shells and rocks and loose change multiply, the shelves are filled with old magazines, photographs, notes from friends. It’s not so much a capitalist impulse, a desperate need for the latest desirable, but a compulsive thing, to collect as I move, to fill pockets with sea-glass, or take an offered flyer from someone on the street. On my latest purge, I found a tray of tiny sample perfume bottles. I have no idea when I was given them, how they ended up there, why I never got rid of them. They’re gone now, except for one. The cycle begins again.

pixabay

Museums and archives are, unsurprisingly, my favourite places visit. I love the unfiltered things that survive, the things that no-one ever imagined would be preserved. The V&A in London holds a pair of bishop’s socks from the fourth century (they have a divided toe, to be rocked with sandals). Many of St Andrews’ rare books are covered in sweary marginalia, penned by feuding students. Stockholm hosts the ABBA museum. The instinct for preservation is universal, it seems.

pixabay

Part of me would like to live more tidily, to become less sentimental about the random objects I find. I think my jumble might be a little genetic (my grandmother, when she died, left us her own impressive museum of things). But I also think that our pocketed objects, and the stories they contain, can be a way to stay tethered to the world. I often feel like I’m not quite earthbound. My collected things help to remind me of my own material presence, that I exist, and that other people exist, too. Especially in a pandemic, where we live so isolated from what feels like a previous life, the little things I’ve accumulated help to remind me that, once upon a time, I interacted properly other people, that my days were open and connected and full of experience, rather than pure mundanity. It makes me feel small, in a good way.

pixabay

When I was very little, maybe five or so, we visited a castle in Cornwall, and I chose a set of metal figurines, of a medieval princess, an archer, a knight, a king. I threw them into the grass and pretended to discover them, like an archaeologist. But the earth was soft after rain, and they must have sunken into the ground, because I couldn’t find them again. I was distraught at the time, guilty for losing them, aware of their existence away from me. I wondered if they were found, and pocketed, and brought home. I hope so. I hope they live on a shelf, somewhere, lined up in a small, shining row, remaining there for no reason other than that they were found.

 

 

Comments

comments

90 thoughts on “Little Pieces of Life

  1. Hey, you used to write magnificent, but the last few posts have been kinda boring?K I miss your tremendous writings. Past few posts are just a little bit out of track! come on!

  2. Hello, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your blog site in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, great blog!

  3. Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

  4. Awsome info and straight to the point. I am not sure if this is really the best place to ask but do you guys have any ideea where to get some professional writers? Thank you 🙂

  5. This design is steller! You definitely know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Fantastic job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  6. Hello there! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could find a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having difficulty finding one? Thanks a lot!

  7. This blog is definitely rather handy since I’m at the moment creating an internet floral website – although I am only starting out therefore it’s really fairly small, nothing like this site. Can link to a few of the posts here as they are quite. Thanks much. Zoey Olsen

  8. Hi! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone 4! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the fantastic work!

  9. I always was concerned in this topic and stock still am, appreciate it for putting up.

  10. I’ve been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  11. You are my intake, I possess few web logs and very sporadically run out from brand :). “Yet do I fear thy nature It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness.” by William Shakespeare.

  12. I think other website proprietors should take this web site as an model, very clean and fantastic user friendly style and design, as well as the content. You are an expert in this topic!

  13. I’ve been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  14. Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us you actually know what you’re talking about! Bookmarked. Please also visit my website =). We could have a link exchange agreement between us!

  15. What Is Sugar Defender? Sugar Defender is a meticulously crafted natural health supplement aimed at helping individuals maintain balanced blood sugar levels. Developed by Jeffrey Mitchell, this liquid formula contains 24 scientifically backed ingredients meticulously chosen to target the root causes of blood sugar imbalances.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

THE STAND