is for odditorium
By definition odditorium is a place for displaying oddities, and in my mind has a strong connection to Wuderkammern and Cabinets of Curiosity.
Just rolling those words off my tongue fills me with a bit of excitement, prickles my curiosity sensors, and invites me to put on my wondering cap.
Dear Odditorium –
Some people embrace a minimalist esthetic and while I can derive great joy from seeing beauty highlighted by the absence of visual “noise” around it, the truth is I’m a collector. I like gathering things that enchant me, arranging them and delighting in them. Which of course is why my home is filled with little altars everywhere; little groupings of random wonderfulnesses; pockets of delights likely only I think are beautiful.
I’m not sure when I discovered you as a word, but I remember very clearly the first time I saw a Cornell box and thought how perfectly wonderful it was in its oddness. And I remember how curious I was to both glimpse the world through the eyes that saw things that way, AND then the immediate accompanying thought that perhaps my eyes saw things in arrangements that no one else did as well. And how exciting that was!
I love the idea of cabinets of curiosities in their best sense – places of wonder. Places to launch journeys fueled by curiosity. Places to behold the magic of shiny wonders. Collections worthy of treasured cigar boxes. Worthy of being nested in strings of fairy lights. Worthy of gasps of awe and giggles of amazement or just simple smiles.
Yes odditorium, I love you and all you represent, and I’m so glad we get to hang out together. And I even like considering myself an odditorium. You always did inspire me to laugh!
Here’s a peek at the top of one of my actual cabinets, so I can feel free to literally call it a cabinet of curiosity in all good conscious. Here I have gathered a clay bird by artist Carol Ross that I love, and paired it with a wonderful stone that looks like a bird to me and which carries the fossilized impressions of evergreen needles which look like feathers. Between them is a magical holey stone which I discovered among my mother’s things. I had no idea she had a holey stone, and since they’re so important to me, the gift of this find felt especially precious. The large glass bowl is filled with dried roses from an important and sacred occasion, and atop it sits a song bird singing to another in the wire tree which is strung with sparkly crystal beads. All of life needs a dose of sparkly crystal beads, don’t you think? And then there is the moon, carved by a West African artist, shining over it all, tucked among some red stars that have some guiding star mantras on them. And then there is the little flowered/sparkly “crown” which delights me for all sorts of reasons but mostly as a reminder that sovereign and joy go hand-in-hand.
Now let me invite you to visit a couple more odditoriums:
First, not really an odditorium, but in fact the inspiring spark for me: Joseph Cornell
And here’s a fun site that is a modern day Wunderkammern that begs exploration – Alex Boxer’s Idols of the Cave
What about you? Do you consider yourself a living odditorium? Collect strange and wonderful things? What are you curious about? Have a special cabinet with an agglomeration of wonders (as opposed to a drawer full of junk)? Do tell – you know I love to hear.
Can’t say I’ve ever heard of it before – but I do LOVE the word ‘odditorium’. And Joseph Cornell boxes have always been a curiosity and fascination for me.
Can’t say that I’m an ‘odditorium’ – always preferring individual items and simplicity over groupings. But – I do have great appreciation for those who are.
You have such a beautiful mastery of sifting things down to their pure essence Marcie, and I so appreciate that about you.
I’m still recovering from the interruption of standard alphabetical order…… however today’s post has given me some insight into my accommodation of accepted systems of order. I am clearly a living odditorium, treasuries of wonder, cabinetarium of curiosity and other collectives of delight and wonder. Ordering systems of all kinds (with a special emphasis on collections of drawers and their unending possibility of treasure chest like discoveries) helps me to frame, display, gather, reframe and generally submerge myself in accumulated wonderment. In the not too distant past I discovered the delight of random journal entries without any effort to be sequential, so I’m thinking that I may be further loosening my grasp on systematic organizing in the not too distant future. Sparkle On!
LOL – you are indeed one of my favorite living odditoriums, and a fine job you do of sparkling on! I whole-heartedly encourage you to further loosen your grip on systematic organizing. Random and chaotic wonderfulness is so much easier on the brain. 🙂
Sometimes I feel as if my brain is an odditorium. (Ha! Autocorrect wants that to be “auditorium.” Sorry, the red dotted line will have to stay.)
I used to be much more of a collector than I am now. (I came to the realization that clutter and I don’t mix because I’m such a terrible housekeeper.) Dust and asthma don’t go well together, so I’m constantly trying to purge and simplify without losing things I truly love.
There are two places in my life that remain odditorium-like, however – the bookmarks list on my computer, and my journal. They are both a free-for-all, and I love that.
I so relate to the bookmarks and the journal odditoriums Sarah – and they’re non-dusty ones at that. Which makes them just about perfect.
I love this word – odditorium – and yes, I definitely qualify as an odditorium enthusiast. There’s just somethng about those little boxes of keys and gears – I think they’re for watches, maybe? And stones. And smooshed bottle caps I find on my walks. And beads. Oh, my, not just beads, but anything that might be strung. And vintage threads – the sparkly 40s kind, especially embroidery. Tools, particularly weaving tools. And most particularly, anything that is textile. Life is far too short to not collect things.
LOL- it’s a joy to find a treasure-finder after my own heart!
Thanks for giving me this new word! I’d never heard of odditoriums (odditoria?) before. I’d also never heard of Joseph Cornell boxes, so I have many new worlds to explore.
Holey stones have been precious to me for decades. When I moved to my adopted hometown a dozen years ago, I discovered a rich source of natural holey stones — the sea. Let me know if you would like a holey stone from my area. I’ll send you one!
Oh Harmony – I’ll so take you up on your lovely offer to send me a holey stone from your area – how fun! And enjoy exploring Joseph Cornell and his boxes.