Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Treasure Boxes

Today I'm off to run some errands including returning two of the book I recently checked out at the library.

Last night I polished off "Mockingbird", a biography of Harper Lee by Charles Shields. It was very good and reflected a huge amount of research. I can't even imagine that kind of commitment. Whilst reading I realized that Harper Lee is still alive. She's something of a recluse, cherishing her privacy as much as her childhood friend Capote gave his away.

There are some interesting insights into the making of the movie. One passage describes the crafting of the opening sequence which in my opinion is one of the best sequences ever. As the haunting melody plays in the background, Scout opens the cigar box which serves as the repository of her treasures. Each one has a significance either literal or symbolic. They were the treasured things of childhood.

I was thinking that perhaps we don't lose that desire to have a few special treasure tucked away. Mine are tucked inside a bird's nest on my night stand. It's comforting to look at them each night before I go to sleep. I can't describe how they were collected, each came with it's own significance to rest in the nest. The nest itself was found under a tree the morning after a particularly violent storm.

The contents of the nest.

Just some flotsam and jetsom that was floating through my life.

A feather that I found in the parking lot when I left for lunch after a particularly horrid morning at work.

It made me smile at a time when I didn't feel like smiling. Look, it's dusty. How do you dust a feather?

A unmounted semi-precious gemstone. It's coloration moves from very light purple to light yellow. I have no idea what it is but I like it.

The picture is fuzzy because gemstones stubbornly refuse to stand still for a photograph.

These are pieces of Arkansas crystal. I'm an avowed rock lover so this fits perfectly into the collection.

A piece of very old potshard, picked up on a walk with a friend. It was peeking out of the ground and she recognized it for what it was.

Two coins, one from Mexico and one from China. We've been to Mexico many times and we always bring back change. We feel that this means we must return to spend it. The Chinese coin was given to me by my mom and my thought is that I must go to China to spend it.

Here's the most curious and mysterious object. It's a glass vial, closed at both ends with metal caps. It's very, very heavy which suggests that it contains something of value.

Inside are four small chips of rock, or what appears to be rock.

Honestly, here's the maddening thing. I cannot remember where I got this object or what it is. I think it's pieces of a meteorite or even pieces of a moon rock. Can't remember!! But I guess the mystery is it's fascination.

So, tell me. Do you keep a treasure box similar to Scout's?


underthebigbluesky said...

if you ever do figure out how to dust feathers let me know. my girl is always, always, always picking them up and bringing them in.

i somehow end up with little bits of things tucked in all sorts of places, but my favorite is a small box I keep in one of my bedroom drawers.
my brother who is 15 years younger than I gave it to me for my birthday when he was very small, it has a rock he picked up, a beaded lizard he made, a stick person picture he drew and a nickle with my birth year.

i've had it now for oh, i don't know 20 years.

oh, and i love a good rock collector!!!

Jenni said...

When I was a little girl, I had a small green suitcase that I used as my treasure box. I should write a post about that sometime soon. I can still clearly see the contents of that suitcase though it has been about 30 years since I last saw it.

I still collect things, always odd little bits like I did when I was a little girl. Most of my collected items come from nature: pretty rocks, fossils, animal bones, interesting pieces of bark or driftwood, shells, and lots and lots of glass from the gravel bar on our river. I don't keep it in any one place but rather find spots all around the house to display my finds. Sometimes I wonder if people think I'm just a bit kooky with the things I collect. Actually, I know some of them do. I don't care! These things make me smile each time I see them.

Jenni said...

Oh, and *loved* Mockingbird, but when I said Julie and Julia hadn't gone too far with the cussing, I spoke too soon. It still hasn't been enough to really bother me, but I might have a bit of a potty mouth myself at times.

lifeinredshoes said...

Perhaps the container holds a bit of a loved ones ashes?
You have inspired me to start a treasure box, thank you!

ingasmile said...

I love to collect things from nature. We have rocks, interesting pieces of wood, animal bones, snake skins. But I think my all time favorite thing to look for is glass. I love to look on the beach or sometimes we will find an old pile of glass in a forest and dig through it for pretty pieces or whole bottles. They used to make such pretty small bottles. Both my son's love to collect the same types of things.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

The glass vial is interesting...kryptonite, maybe? C

kanishk said...

*loved* Mockingbird, but when I said Julie and Julia hadn't gone too far with the cussing, I spoke too soon. Work from home India

cityfarmer said...

oh my kids had the most wonderful junk ..in little boxes and on their desks when they were little ... i can't imagine where they got the "collecting" bug .... mmm

Farmchick said...

My son is quite a collector of "many small things". He finds emotion in meaning in all of them. I have a couple of boxes that I keep treasures, notes, and items in....funny how this activity is such a commong thread for all of us.

Jody Blue said...

I'm always squirreling "treasures" away in odd places, I like to run across them and be reminded also.

Katie May J. said...

I've read The Year of Magical Thinking. It was a year or two after my mother died and I hoped it would somehow help me move through my own grief and loss. It disappointed me, actually. I think it was simply that Didion's husband's death was quick and unexpected, while Mom's was expected and there was time to say goodbye. When you get the shock Didion did, you must react very differently.
I also read The Glass Castle and was disgusted with those parents, whose own needs always, always came before those of their children. They don't deserve to be called parents.

Emily M said...

I have a lot of little treasures on my dresser. Rocks, shells, coins, beads, photos, fortunes from cookies, and all sorts of other odds and ends. Cluttered but they make me happy when I see them so it's okay. Thanks for your blog. It is new to me :-)