hunting and gathering

Last year I decided I wanted a charm bracelet.   I’m still not sure why.  I’ve been doing my best to release stuff – to stop hunting & gathering – to cease collecting.

I love my charm bracelet though. IMG_0175

It offers me memories of:

the people who’ve given me these charms;

Alaska (my favorite vacation spot);

Pelican House (my favorite retreat spot);

that dragonflies signify balance;

Havelock High School (where I made life time friends and was kicked out of the National Honor Society);

my spiritual connection to The Spiral and St Christopher (the patron saint of travel);

my English roots;

the wonders of Lake Waccamaw (my home for the past 22 years);

that getting a tattoo was all I wanted and more;

and to use moisturizer at least once every single day!

So maybe I’m not ready to quit collecting stuff.   I’ve let go of most of my magazine subscriptions.  I now visit my local Library before visiting my favorite local bookseller.  If I haven’t worn or used it in the last six months ~ I donate it.  And I’ve asked (as gently as possible, of course) my pals to stop giving me dragonfly art.

I’m going to keep adding to my charm bracelet –  without guilt – with joy.

What do you collect with joy?

10 thoughts on “hunting and gathering

  1. I still have a vast store of dragonfly stuff, and I’m just waiting on you to change your mind. You should never have mentioned you like these things.

    PS…I do love your charm bracelet. Wonderful memories.

  2. lol Tom. yup, hold onto those dragonflies – i’ll be getting back to you.

  3. Such a wonderful commentary. I looked at a friend the other day and asked what is the significance of all these storage units that keep popping up all over the place like weeds? What do these places say about us as a society in general? Are we so focussed on collecting and gathering STUFF that we now have to rent space to store it all? Perhaps we need a national yard sale day so that we can divest ourselves of our trash so that others may treasure it.

    I confess to being guilty of over-collecting. However I like to think that now the things I collect have a purpose other than to take up space in my house. I have begun to collect with joy native NC stones like rubies and emeralds. These I tumble and incorporate into my jewelry. I see this as positive collecting as I re-purpose the raw stones as parts of a whole work of art.

  4. I love your charm bracelet, too! I collect decorative eggs – why? Because someone – mother? an aunt? – gave me one a long time ago to get me started on a “collection.” Apparently I also collect dogs. 🙂 Woof! Woof!

  5. Oh, dear—I, too, am trying to stop collecting and to get rid of stuff, but this is after being in the mind set of a collector for YEARS, and it’s soooo hard. I come from a family that never throws ANYTHING away, thinking there will always be someone in the next generation who might want it, which has resulted in some cool antiques for me, but has raised me too much in the frame of mind of having STUFF! (Do you know George Carlin’s routine about stuff? It’s great.) Then I married a man whose mom was a yard sale nut, and I learned the pleasures of “inheriting” the stuff that other families want to throw away! And now, my husband (and, occasionally, I ) make art out of found objects, and so EVERYTHING seems like potential art making material. So instead of collecting blue and white china, like I used to do, I collect broken chair legs! Someday, that collection will become something, I promise! But for now, those bits of broken furniture are filling up my studio! AUGHH! They are joining thrift store jewelry with interesting beads; old bottles; rocks and fossils I have brought back from places that actually HAVE rocks (unlike Columbus County, NC), and colored xerox paper that could be pulp for future handmade paper. It’s truly joyful at the time I find it, but when it comes to cleaning (and finding space for things in) my studio, I repeat—“AUGHH!”
    P.S. I love the charm bracelet—and don’t worry about your hands–they are the hands of a wise and creative woman!

  6. Pickett, i soooooooooo how come i’ve never seen all these eggs? methinks this must change soon.

    ML, i can’t wait to see what you create with those chair legs/stones and handmade paper. i know it’ll be mahvalous! and thanks for the kind words about my hands. they are well used, that’s for sure.

  7. Sue, you keep collecting and creating with those gorgeous NC stones and i’ll keep collection charms – deal?

  8. I have an old charm bracelet that was started on my 16th Birthday; I also have one from the 3 years we lived in Germany. I collected all the little charms of the flags of each city and country. FAST FORWARD TO 2009: I collect CATs . Like you, I am simplifying my life , giving things away and NOT collecting unless it is REALLY special. (I have a piece of wood from the remote area in the mountains where we recently disposed of our beloved Geshela’s remains………..
    I LOVE YOUR CHARM bracelet and like the idea of keeping all the memories on one thing.

  9. oooooh Shirley, your bracelets sound wonderFULL – as does that holy remnant from Geshela’s resting place. thanks for letting us know about these rich stories.

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