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Saturday, September 15, 2007
Sunday Scribblings Prompt: Collector Personality
I come by collecting quite honestly. My father collected hobbies. He was a photographer, jeweler, poet, scuba diver, swordsmith and herbalist.
My aunt collected cats. Yes, she was a librarian, and single. No joke.
At first I collected odd friends. There were several with messiah complexes. Others were martyrs and habitual victims (what fun they were in the same room!). I had a small collection of minor sociopaths and a few narcissists for good measure. There were also those too complex to easily label.
Two of them were also collectors. One collected troubled young men, and the other collected little braided rings of hair that were keepsakes the Victorians had of dead loved ones. I preferred the troubled young men as collections went. They at least were alive (and far more interesting).
In college I collected stories. Folktales, fairytales, history and the odd circumstances of life that people dispersed during wayward conversation. And then there were the languages... Spanish, Russian, Chinese... a smattering of French and enough Arabic to insult a man (what can I say? I had fun friends with diverse backgrounds and fierce senses of humor). I collected every story in every language that I could.
After college I had a real job (not the collection of temp positions and summer work during my college years: cave tour guide, belt counter, mortgage filer, line worker for Godiva and Campbell, educational director at a private zoo). It provided nearly real money so my collecting changed. I collected things I thought would better define me as the "class" I hoped to fit into more comfortably. I had Swarovski figurines, pearls and amber in both red and royal.
But the beauty of those small riches did nothing more to define who I really was then, nor what I am today. They were nice with their glitter and gloss, but not ME. I was the teacher dealing with the brilliant thugs and broken dreamers. What good did paltry shows of money do in reality when you worked every day with kids kicked out of their trailer homes so their mama's new lover had a place for his illegitimate offspring? The Swarovski seemed cold, the amber lost its shine.
Don't get me wrong--I still hosted wine-tastings and traveled, but it meant increasingly less when I stared down such bleak reality day in and day out. Then I moved back north to be closer to "family."
My Swarovski and amber are still packed away in a box or two somewhere. I have no great urge to pull them out and display them.
So you may ask: Are you still a collector?
Oh, yes. I most certainly am. But now my collection is far less tangible. Yes, now I collect words on my way to collecting knowledge. You see, I was one of the "disenfranchised" youth. Powerless in my own society. I was not a member of a recognized minority, yet I took the brunt of the harassment in middle school as any African American in an all white school might have. Actually, I knew that kid in my school and he was treated with more respect than I rated.
But early on I heard that elusive promise: "Knowledge is power." And so I wanted to know it all.
From odd jobs most would scoff at to strange sayings that made the most sense in foreign languages--I sucked it all up. I read, I wrote, I explored multiple art and craft forms.
Now I still collect words like "abacot" (a word that may or may not exist) and "alexipharmic" on my way to hopefully finding "ataraxy" ;-). I still collect information. Some "useless" (or so some jokingly may say) but all fascinating and usable in the right context. For example, tomorrow I'm making a tarte tatin and will tell my guests the story of the French women and their flirting which supposedly caused it to be created in its most accepted form. Perhaps I'll write a short story about its legendary beginnings eventually.
My collections have changed, as I hope I have changed and grown. Personally, I look forward to many more years of collecting words and stories.... And hopefully using them wisely to craft my own true knowledge and better define myself and my small contribution to society.
Write on! ;-)
Useful Research Links
- A Tour of the Scottish Borders
- Access Romance
- All About Romance: History and Travel
- Anthology of Middle English Literature
- British Titles of Nobility
- Correct Forms of Address
- Courtesy Titles
- Ettrick & Yarrow Valleys
- Historic Scotland
- Knighthood, Chivalry and Tournaments
- Maps of Scotland (1560-1928)
- Medieval Gardens
- Medieval Society
- Medieval Studies Program
- Middle English Compendium
- Online Etymology Dictionary
- Scottish Women's Clothing
- Tam Lin Balladry
- The Costume Gallery
- The Middle Ages
Woo-hoo! Didn't You Know It!
Which ancient leader are you most akin to?
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|You scored as Ghengis Khan|
you scored ghengis khan! He was a Mongol political and military leader or Khan (posthumously Khagan) who united the Mongol tribes and founded the Mongol Empire (Ð�Ñ� Ð�Ð¾Ð½Ð³Ð¾Ð» Ð£Ð»Ñ�), (1206â��1368), the largest contiguous empire in world history.
Pride and Prejudice
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I am Elizabeth. I am headstrong and intelligent. I love to be myself, and am very loyal to my family. I can sometimes be prideful and "prejudiced," but I try to remain open minded and I usually regret past mistakes.
Which Superheroine are you?
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|You scored as Huntress|
You are the Huntress...
No matter how many times you try and prove yourself to be good, you always seem to be stuck in the same rut, with the reputation as a "bad girl". Guys love to hang around you because you're easy to talk too.