Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Sacred Junk and Treasure Maps

There are mimosa trees in Greenville.

 This is a mimosa seed pod

When I was a kid I used to take the seeds from mimosa pods and string them with a needle and thread into long heishi-like strands for necklaces. I kept them in cigar boxes, along with bits of colored paper, drawings, feathers, small bones, stones, colored shards of glass, and treasure maps that I drew myself* ~ relics of an imaginative and active childhood.

Not unlike my jewelry bench today.

 Typical view of my jewelry bench today

In graduate school I studied philosophy and religious studies with the wonder-full Lynda Sexson. In her book “Ordinarily Sacred” she says that inventories of children’s treasures and those of religious holy places are remarkably similar; that the “junk” that’s precious to kids, and adults, is the stuff of the sacred.

She writes, “The sacred, when not bound by politics and economics, is nearer to something we call the aesthetic.”

Precious junk --> Sacred --> Aesthetic. It makes perfect sense to me.

*Tip: coffee will stain the paper to a nice treasure-mappy, old-timey, pirate-worthy look. Fold multiple times and scorch the edges a little with a kitchen match for the full effect. And don’t forget a little red ink stain to simulate spilled blood because, c’mon, what’s a treasure map without bloodstains?

1 comment:

  1. Happy New Year Ken, I am enjoying reading your Blog. I have pulled my back which is forcing me to actually take time to read the blogs that I follow. I made a link on my blog to your blog in "blogs I follow" listing. Hope that is ok w you.Particularly like the "red" post.