Throughout my life, I’ve always been drawn to all things shiny, our prompt for today. There was a time when I was young that I had a brief obsession with pocket watches. Any time we’d go to the local antique store, I’d find the cabinet where the seller had a little collection of them. They were too expensive so I didn’t end up with one and usually just got a gumball from the machine by the front door as my prize for the trip. It would actually be years before I finally got my hands on one, and it was, at the time one of my most coveted objects. I’m still not entirely sure why I was so fascinated with these. I think the hidden nature was the real draw. I would carry it around, hidden in my pocket, and open it from time to time just to peer inside. For some reason it felt magical, hanging from its little chain. Over the years, I’ve lost track of it, but I think it’s still lying at the bottom of a box somewhere waiting to be rediscovered one day.
I always had a bit of a habit of collecting little objects of interest like this. Things I’m drawn to for their aesthetic value more than their use, if they even have a use at all. As a kid I would have a box full of little random things that I protected like they were a pirate’s treasure. It was a perfectly unrelated assortment of figurines, shiny rocks, marbles, and anything else that caught my fancy in the moment. Some things were discarded over time to make room for new things. The little things that stayed in the box the longest became the true treasure. I think that’s always been the same for me in life, whether it’s an idea I can’t quite let go or a painting hobby that I can’t bear to miss each day. The longer something stays around, the more endearing it becomes. Moving to different houses and apartments over the years, I have some boxes that never got unpacked. They’re simply filled with the things I couldn’t bear to leave behind.
Even today, I look at little trinkets on the shelves around me along with books that I will probably never read again. They’re all there because I couldn’t let them not be there. For reasons I’m often at a loss to truly explain. Something in my heart couldn’t bear to part with them. Perhaps, it’s a reminder of a very specific wonderful moment, or simply a feeling I get when I see it. A comforting reminder of a previous time in my life and the passions that got me to where I am today. The story of me, told through a ridiculous menagerie of objects that made me happy for a time. And when I see them now, they still make me smile. That silly light up rubber duck that I found in my stocking three years ago brings me back to a special moment filled with love. As the years continue to pass, often at an alarming speed, I’m so happy to have each little trinket in my life. Even after all this time, I’m still that little boy collecting bits of my world each and every day. Making new things and sometimes, if I’m rather lucky, new pocket watch memories.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Quinacridone Gold, Quinacridone Red, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!