My Curiosity Jar

I like to collect weird little things from the outdoors. I picked this quirk up from my mother who (if I remember the story correctly) kept mice in a shoe box under her bed when she was a kid. Where my my mother and I differ, is that I don’t collect live things. However, since the age of about seven I’ve collected up rocks, feathers, shells, leaves, husks of seeds, etc. and kept them in various jars & boxes. This habit happens to drive my husband bat sh*t crazy. He doesn’t like much of anything about nature. He will tolerate it for the sake of a game of golf or perhaps a barbeque but otherwise, he’d rather stay inside the safety of our home reclining in front of the television. In the spring and summer I like to sit out on our back porch to work, blog or read and when he comes out to say hello, he squints against the sun in pain and the scurries inside like some sort of overgrown mole. It’s charming really.

Anyway. He finds it odd that I collect these little treasures from the outdoors and  tonight when he came upstairs to check on me*, he looked over and said “Are you building a curiosity jar?” The tone of this question was a mix of amusement and disdain as he peered at an apothecary jar that happens to be sitting on the far right corner of my desk.  My response to his query was a withering look and then I returned to the project I was working on before he busted in.

My curiosity jar

I must admit that I didn’t purposely “build a curiosity jar” but I like the idea of it (I don’t think this was my husband’s goal) and I will continue to add to it. I simply wanted a way to display some of the cool stuff I had found outside this fall, so I thought jar would be perfect. I also read recently that my favorite poet of all time, Elizabeth Bishop, also collected little pieces of interest from the outdoors. This furthers my theory that we would have been great friends if we would have lived during the same time period. Great minds…

 *When I say “check on me,” I mean he comes upstairs to procrastinate from writing his law school paper.

 A nut shell, a ginkgo leaf, a clam shell & a few crow feathers.

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One thought on “My Curiosity Jar

  1. I think this is beautiful. I have shells, fossils, lichen, and skulls interspersed with the poetry volumes in my office–all flanked by old flatirons and steam irons, which make great bookends. I have been buying up old glass canisters (the ones without plastic) and now I have some ideas on what to do with them. I have peacock and hawk and blue jay feathers that might make a beautiful jar.

    Hope you are doing well.

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