Entry 12.0 "Collector of Moments"
I am a collector. I like to think I come by it naturally, that collecting is in my genes and was passed down from my grandfather. His museum of old tech relics was born of his personal collection, then spiraled into a life-long business and a passion that never retired. First toys and skateboards scratched the itch for me, then it was guitars and the never-ending quest for the perfect tone through guitars, amps and audio gear. Tracking down and finding that perfect piece to complete a collection is one of life’s sweet rewards and needs no excuse or rationalization other than that. Being able to bring some pieces of my grandfather’s collection with me into the Throughworlds was a way for me to tie his treasures into my artwork and keep him with me.
As once again we lifted those treasures off the ground and into space, I knew that the Wanderment was leaving behind a world worthy of song. I would’ve asked to extend our stay on Agricolia, but soon after meeting with Thane Keller, I noticed our hosts seemed to be uncharacteristically distracted. Whatever was causing a notable uptick in activity on their properties seemed to be outside of our concern, and I decided to hold my tongue instead of taking the risk that we were overstaying our welcome.
Because he hadn’t been as attentive as usual, I admit to thinking that I might’ve said something to offend Thane; those insecurities were put to rest, however, when a large package arrived a few days before we left. A handwritten note was attached with my name. It said, “Rob, Thank-you for sojourning with us. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to give this to you personally, but I’ve been called off-world. As a fellow collector, I know you will appreciate this gift. Use it artfully in your explorations. Carry it further than you feel may be polite. – Thane”
Inside the box, I found something I never thought I would see in person, a Polaroid instant camera, still in its original packaging! Manufactured over three hundred years ago and still in mint condition, this was a kingly gift. Also in the box, I found a receipt from the company that retrofitted a modern power source into dozens of accompanying film cartridges, ensuring that they would work indefinitely. I stood speechless for however long it took my mind to process the excitement and awe! Then I was off.
I spent my last days on Agricolia with Kiye and we visited all of our favorite spots one last time, testing the camera at each. Sometimes we would just sit and stare at the film for as long as it took the image to bloom slowly into existence. We decided that there is definitely something magical about the film never really achieving a full spectrum of color. Each piece would develop just shy of true, and carry with it a haze almost exactly like a happy memory.
After getting back into the vastness of space, even the hazy colors seemed bright, though. I pinned some of my favorite images to a string across the porthole in my quarters, and just stared at them by the light of my favorite wooden rocketship desk lamp I’ve had since I was eight. Right around hour two of my contented daze, it became clear what my new collection must be. I want to be a collector of moments that, when properly added up, equal a happy life. Ideally, like all collectors, I’d like to have the full set – the entire collection.
I’m still working on it.