Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Fine Art of Collecting

It's really about collecting. It started when I went for a walk on the Wonderland Trail just south of Southwest Harbor, Maine. In less than a mile and to the left of the path, a woman's body appeared on a tree trunk—not her contour, but a dimensional body of bark and branches. That was my first tree photo.

It's really about collecting. Some of us are hard wired to be collectors. Have two of something and you envision a collection. Four bulletin boards of buttons flank a hallway in my house. There's every type of button from Bring the Washingtons Back to Washington showing George and Martha in tones of brown to a recent button prodding voters with this slogan Had Enough! Vote Democrat.

Years ago a friend with the same propensity for collecting gave me a list , compiled by a connosieur, of one hundred must read mystery and detective novels. We set out on a quest to acquire these books. All real quests carry the burden of rules. Our rule—only copies from yard sales, library sales or used book stores. I recall finding the Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan under a stack of National Geographics. I opened the book to this line, "It happened many years ago in Senegal. I was quartered in a remote station, and to pass the time used to go fishing for big barbel in the river." We never did find all one hundred books, but I did read some fascinating sagas.

My collections of Dixie cup covers, magnetic small dogs, Mexican jumping beans, and unicorns faded. The unicorns gave way to Bastet the Egyptian cat and Ganesh the elephant headed Hindu deity.

Imagine my delight when I found a photo scavenger hunt on the web. To participate you shoot twenty-six photos that describe a given list of twenty-six words. I'm off and running. This photo fits in my collection of trees, but it also will be the photo I use for in the sky . I have a photo for light, blur, travel and newborn. Twenty-One more photos to go! Then I'll place all twenty-six photos in a small album and add it to the scavenger hunt album I completed in November. That's the start of another collection!


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