I showed an early interest in embroidery, and my grandmother wanted to encourage me in that direction, so she gave me a sewing basket when I was seven or eight. l’d spend hours tracing nursery rhyme figures onto squares of fabric and embroidering their outlines.
I bought a little yam but didn't eat it. It sat in the fruit bowl for weeks as apples, pears and bananas came and went all around it, sprouting, seemingly overnight, purple-green sprout-knobs which grew into bean-like shoots tipped with purple-green leaves. The shoot-leaves, ribbed with miniature veins and pressed together like the tightly closed halves of a Venus flytrap's mouth, opened in slow motion, unfurling, uncrinkling, unwrinkling like soaked skin in reverse. The old yam was alive again.
A puppy became trapped and frightened when his leash got tangled up in the legs of a flimsy cafe table. At first the puppy just whimpered, pacing nervously as he watched his owner walk away from him, down one side of a long glass wall to the entrance of the cafe, but when he saw his owner walking back toward him, this time separated from him by the long glass wall, the puppy started tugging at the leash. He realized the full extent of the mess he’d gotten himself into when the metal chairs started tumbling around him. A loud crack of thunder only added to his anxiety. Having woven a maze of leash through the legs of the chairs and the table, the more he tried to escape, the more the knot of furniture tightened around him. The puppy panicked and started yelping.
A collector doesn't make what he collects. A snow globe collector, for example, doesn't make snow globes. The snow globes are already made. The collector just gathers them together in one place, into one collection. A moth collector doesn't make moths; the moths are already made. The collector just captures the elusive creatures and preserves them, pins their wings down perhaps. Maybe each moth ends up in a block of clear acrylic that sits on a table like a snow globe among snow globes.