We all need food, water, shelter, and clothing. Once these have been taken care of, we need:
- Something to do.
- Something to make.
- Something to collect.
- Somewhere to put the damn collection.
You may please yourself about number 1 – lacrosse, pork futures trading, presidential campaigning/dressing like a circus clown…you suit yourself. As long as you think it is a good idea and no-one is firing back, go ahead and enjoy yourself. It will be a good reason to get up in the morning and get out of the house. If it brings in money for all the rest of the activities – well and good.
As far as something to make – again, this is a wide landscape of creation. Houses, toy airplanes, wedding dresses, the perfect parfait, a lead/zinc mine…as long as you can do it, and again no-one is shooting at you as you work, go ahead and make it. You may be able to use your own vision – as with the artist or the wedding dress maker – or you may have to get a kit and plans – like the person who starts to dig the lead/zinc mine. You may need help – most lead/zinc mines are big things, and dusty.
Collecting is the topic today. It is a human instinct buried in each of our cells. We all find something, sometime that comes in more than one colour, flavour, or size and experience the need to have an example of each. This explains collectors of toy cars, Picasso paintings, and beer bottles. It probably also explains Mickey Rooney and wives.
The object of desire need not even be an object – some people collect the sensation of visiting different cities, or of climbing different mountains. The basic structure of a collection is more than one of something got and kept. And then the desire to get one more…
Collectors are driven people. First the drive comes from curiosity. Then from delight. Then greed takes over, and lastly gives way to obsession. At that point the collector is collected by the collection, and can be officially downgraded from human to object. A happy object in many cases, rather than an abject one, but still a slave rather than a master.
But do not be frightened – in Part Two I’ll tell you how to stave this off as long as possible.