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Collections: A Personal Reflection

I have a friend who keeps all of her nail clippings. She and her husband have been doing it for a really long time, like over ten years. I guess they are all labeled, though I haven't seen the collection. I have the image of a secret basement chamber lined with small pull-out drawers and printers-block cases containing little piles of nail trimmings. They are both scientists by training so maybe they think of this as an experiment?

I have another friend who collects bars of soap. She saves the end of the bar, that part that is hard to hold on to, that is barely worth using because it will probably slip between your fingers in the shower and end up causing a clog in the drain. She asks her friends to save them for her and even went around to hotels and collected used bars of soap. She is an artist and her collection was exhibited as part of a collaborative piece that had nothing, otherwise, to do with soap.

I collect images and memories. I like to sort and curate. I don't even mind cleaning up my kids toys if it involves putting things into their place, like curating a collection. And since I love projects, I do things like take a photo a day for a whole year, just for the hell of it (see the slideshow below). Right now I'm in my second year of writing down "10 things" at the end of every week. I have a special book I made just for the activity.

Other people would call this homework and were thrilled to leave obligatory assignments behind at graduation. But people who think like me sometimes end up hosting TV shows about finding weird shit to eat or writing books about spending a year living like Jesus. I am less of an extremist: I love this photographer's weekly portraits of her four, gorgeous kids. I like the way this online community of folks posts a picture, with a few sparse thoughts, every day. And the way this artist reduces her weeks into strips. I guess that is my excuse, if I must have one, for blogging.

The blog of my life is ostensibly for the grandparents who live out of state to keep tabs on the grandkids. Truth is I love doing it or I wouldn't keep with it. I sit down and curate the images that quickly become burned into my brain as the memory of my life. It admitedly is not the whole story and is more like a glossy magazine, but it's the bright side of life, and that is the part worth spending time reliving.

These photos were taken with a point-and-shoot Canon in 2008-2009.
One A Day, by Jessica Becker

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