June 21, 2009

Collecting Thoughts

I am jealous, here I sit in hail jail (what Denver has been having a lot of lately) waiting for my arm finish cooking while Esperando is down in Santa Rosalia soaking up the rays at our favorite beach, Santa Inez, and petting cats. Today for lack of anything better to do, I polished up some Native American jewelry. There is something so satisfying about polishing silver and seeing it shine up. The down side is that if you are using a Fabulustre rouge cloth your hands get quite black like they used to gambling on one arm bandits (now days all the slots just print out a paper coupon you can cart over to the cashier or next machine and your hands stay nice and clean).

I admit to being inveterate collector of everything, it is really a disease probably. My brother Juan-in-a-Million seems to have inherited the same gene, but at least he is focused on silver coins, wine, and art souvenirs from their travels. Neither of my parents exhibited these tendencies, nor either any grandparents that I know of—and my sister doesn’t seem to be as seriously afflicted as my brother and I are.

I have such a broad focus that I collect in fits and starts. When I finally feel guilty enough about what I have spent collecting one kind of thing, I move along to another another. I went through a phase of collecting every Turkey Red tablecloth I could find on ebay or in antique stores, not mention antique textiles in general. I love handwoven linens and huipiles from Mexico and Guatemala; mantas from Peru; printed cottons from India; ikats from Sumba. I have funky printed table linens and towels from the 1960’s such as produced by Tammis Keefe. My house is decorated with kilim pillows and oriental rugs scattered around. I am not an expert on any of these, just an eclectic lover of texture and pattern. And then there are the closets full of china, pottery and stoneware. Even the free things like rocks and shells need space to be stored; I have a million shells in the basement along with jars of sand from around the world of all the beaches where we’ve been. People say our house looks like a museum or a store. What is wrong with me?

Once a woman said to me that she and her husband weren’t spending money on each other for Christmas because they both had everything they wanted. I thought ‘how in the world could you ever have everything you want?’ I still don’t have everything I want, but I have run out of room to store anything more.

I hope you will enjoy the photos of some the Mexican artesania I have collected.

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