Cabinet Of Curiosities

July 13th, 2012

What do your possessions say about you? I don’t mean the things you bought last week — they generally fill a practical need or express your current idea of fashion. I’m talking about the things you’ve been carting around for decades, from place to place and chapter to chapter.

The reason I’m asking is that I was recently lying in bed looking at my earring collection, which now spans about 30 years of my life. Many pairs have come and gone, of course, but the ones in my possession today are the ones that have (at least for now) stood the test of time. It suddenly occurred to me that there were commonalities to what I’d chosen to keep: all of them are sterling silver, there’s an abundance of turquoise (a stone I fell in love with as a 6-year-old on a trip to Yellowstone National Park and have been in love with since), and none of them are terribly big or ornate. All in all, I surmised, it was a fairly earthy, non-showy collection of jewelry. Did this match my vision of myself?

I decided to take a look at the other things I’ve been carrying around with me the longest: a couple of paintings I found on the street when I lived in Manhattan; an empty, ocean blue sewing machine console from the turn of the century; photographs, paintings, and drawings from friends throughout the years; treasures from Goodwill that my mother, with her eagle eye, has found and sent me; squat ceramics from that class I took; a turn-of-the-century quilt from my aunt’s famous vintage clothing store….

In other words, a hodgepodge of colorful, memory-filled, probably-not-valuable treasures that seem to perfectly express my colorful, hodgepodge of a life.

Take a tour around your place and a walk down memory lane. What do your possessions say about you and your life? Do they reflect the vision that you have of yourself?



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