I carry stuff around in my pockets. On any given day I’ll have at least a couple of small stones, a bright scrap of paper candy wrapper, an odd piece of colored plastic, or any number of other tiny odds and ends* that attract my attention. This, I might add, is in addition to a pocketknife, pen, and notepaper. No artist should be without pen and notepaper.
In The Poet’s Notebook, J.D. McClatchy wrote, “The bower bird in me is forever collecting colored threads and mirror shards to make a sort of world.” I love that quote. It perfectly describes my behavior.
What I carry in my pocket reminds me to stay awake to play and re-enchantment with the Ordinary and Everyday. This stuff awakens me to look at the world with fresh eyes, or acts as a trigger for a piece, or might actually wind up in a piece.
Small pendant in sterling, 23k gold leaf,
and pocket stuff ~ candy wrappers
and a found piece of red plastic.
I think what attracts my attention, what I notice and surround myself with, what I collect and carry with me, are the things that help me make my sort of world.
* In old anglo-saxon “ord” or odd, was the beginning or point of something. So the phrase originally meant “points and ends” or scraps. "Odds and ends" may also have originated from lumberyards—odds were bits of board split irregularly by the sawmill from the point, ends were pieces trimmed from boards cut to specific lengths. Or so my research on the internet tells me.