I think that my life is based on a peculiar anthropology. Its vague miracles and modest wonders were not found in a manicured garden of curiosities. They did not grow from seedlings and groomed saplings. I did not wait for them to grow, or to rise yawning, from their fragrant beds. I did not cultivate them out of confidence, or the expectation of what such a harvest could bring.
Instead, I hunted. But my cache of weapons does not include guns or arrows. I do not need to destroy in order to make my life remarkable. Rather, I hunt with my eyes and my mind; making sure that I’m always accompanied by that map of whimsy and caprice, the imagination. I hunt for what is hidden, for what lurks – for what waves its banner of lively beauty before disappearing, forcing me to give chase if I was quick enough to even notice.
And then I gather what I’ve found. It might be thought that my yield is an unpretentious one…but to me they create a pattern of worthies which keep me warm throughout the year. A sunset that melts like gold silk; birds that fly in a in a filigree of panic and hunger; autumn leaves the color of kitchen spices; the eyes of a 1905 beauty staring at me from the bottom of a box of sepia photographs; a statue of three sheep dancing the can-can – carrying a bouquet of orchids that someone had placed in their dainty, flamboyant hooves. How thankful I am for that unknown person’s fey creativity.
These memories hang about me like jewelry heavy with charms: I can stretch my arms out to watch them dance in the light once more; I can finger my neck to feel the decorations that hang there. Like the richest of quilts, they keep me serene and content in the knowledge that I wear as fine a blanket as any that the nimble-fingered Fates could have woven.
So in a way I am a nomadic throwback: a hunter and gatherer. I’ve grown beyond the limitations of farming and its irksome patience. Instead, I range far to bring home what memories I find: to admire, to appreciate and to embrace all of their attendant joys.