i like collections: upcycled maps and spices, storytelling and art

i like collections of things, little clusters of detail and intricacy, with gleaming colours and words, meanings, articulated or symbolised. For me both herbs and plants, and stories are like this, glittering cellular collections of detailed constituents, if arranged in an aesthetically appealing array then magic can happen, great swathes of physical and emotional disarray can be rearranged to bring strength and happiness, like the beauty of St Johns Wort in a bed of chilli, golden and red, might be inspiring my serotonin to restack in a more attractive arrangement, then take flight like a seduced bumble bee in a botanic garden on a hot summers day. The stories echo this, the constituent words, layering, formatting, suggesting and taking the brain, then body on a journey to another place, then leaving the listener the memory, inspiring and teaching, forming connections to realise or dream of propelling us, imagination lead, star drawn to what might be, where we could go, or best avoid, then holding us safe in a boat of text, keeping the storm just outside, only tempting us in, not dragging us through it…
i like collections of things….I always have, as a child, inspired by my mothers tales of her own love of museums, and boxes of buttons, ancient hand made lace, postcards from unknown relatives and lurid stamps, I would turn our spare room into a mini museum, arrange my fossils, my dolls, old books, my drawings, make labels, and charge anyone i could a penny to venture in whereupon I would sell them a handmade postcard….
I like collections of things, the shelves next to me are groaning with tiny assemblies: shells, orphaned china, books, and tiny tins rub noses with toys and charity shop lighthouses
each thing tells a story, is a key to a reference: of its, of mine, of someone i don’t know in a place I may never have been to….maybe even to one of those unknown relatives….
I like collections of things: ingredients, people, herbs and things, as I’ve said before, I like them carefully arranged to tell their story or illustrate another, to create  harmony and accord, to lead us to somewhere fascinating and inspiring.
Orpita first appeared here at Yule as I wove you my Yuletime tale, the story of how a girl, was star drawn from Aunty to Aunty across the world, a collection of Aunties! collecting gifts and Spices, for a baby she’d seen: Aisling, in a dream of fruit and warm Banda spices from the Bay of Bengal to a heather clad moor…..
 At Christmas, we went walking, my little one and I, we ‘adventure’ down nearby streets, changing our regular navigation to a slightly different path, the familiar distorted by mid winter twilight, we passed the huge charity shop, heaving with festive teddies a warehouse of a place, crammed high with one armed dolls, sweat stained polyester jumpers, vivid 3 piece suites….and treasures, treasures where you don’t expect them, they give you redeemable tokens my favorite charity shop, when you take in your bag of cast offs they give you tokens so you take new and exciting stuff away, and now we redeemed our out grown clothes and unloved presents for books: a German atlas, with historical maps, a readers digest book of the world, the ‘Times’ history of Europe, and we cut and tore, and night after night, as the darkness threatened my fortitude, and the child slept, I pasted and wrote, painted and researched, made labels and wove webs of spices….mapping Orpita’s journey, telling her tale in a box, a frame this time, untouchable, I wrote tiny words about meteor showers and sketched Kelp fronds, as she journeyed across the sea, tracked her Aunties gifts over maps with hidden histories, found unknown relatives amongst seas of words…..   Now she’s done, finished: upcycled books, herbs, spices, meteor showers and journeys, tiny collections, words to make you think, imagine, dream ….I like collections, clean, detailed, aesthetically appealing, alive with symbolism, scent and meaning taking you somewhere adrift, star drawn, harmonious, thoughtful, informed and taking you through a story with your eyes and your mind…… I like collections…..
Like a childhood museum, I might even tempt you in, you know you want it, or maybe a handmade postcard, nothing changes, I just got a bit taller, i like collections, stories that take you on  a journey…..


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