Sunday, August 21, 2011


I have a friend whose daughter Dana has Asperger's which is a form of autism. I've bounded with Dana through her love of reading. She gives me hints and I guess the book she is reading. She loves when she can stump me and that's just what happened when we last saw each other. Before I could even say "hello" to her she shouted, "You're in my book. You're a Thing-finder!" For the life of me, I could not bring up a book with a "Thing-finder." Do you know? Well, it's from Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren. I had to run to the library to get a copy and find the passage. Translated by Florence Lamborn, The Viking Press, 1950 (pages 28-29).

"What are we going to do now? asked Tommy.

 "I don't know what you are going to do," said Pippin, "but I know I can't lie around and be lazy. I am a Thing-finder, and when you're a Thing-finder you don't have a minute to spare."

"What did you say?" asked Annika.

"A Thing-finder."

"What's that?" asked Tommy.

"Someone who hunts for things, naturally. What else could it be?" said Pippin. "The whole world is full of things and somebody has to look for them. And that's just what a Thing-finder does," she finished.

"What kind of things?" asked Annika.

"Oh, all kinds," said Pippin.  "Lumps of gold, ostrich feathers, dead rats, candy snapcrackers, and tiny little screws, and things like that."

Yep. I'm a Thing-finder. Dana loves to come to my house because she is allowed to play with my bowls of rocks and other found objects from my travels, my containers of shells from living in Aruba, the children's desk full of empty spools of thread, etc. I feel blessed that my house is the only house that she anxiously wants to visit and one where her mother gets some respite.

I use to collect and still do many other things--old photographs, feathers, old textiles, rusty found objects (the E's from Georgia one of my favorites).  There was a time when I feared using my treasures. I feared running out and not being able to find another. I feared I would ruin it then discover in a future project that it would have been the perfect piece. I've come to realize that making art is a risk and that the universe seems to provide me with more and more treasures all the time. My advice--Use the good stuff! It's not serving anyone, and certainly not you, if it's in a drawer.

P.S. The photograph of the butterfly was taken today while I was hanging out in my garden with my granddog, Tanner. I thought Jeremiah and Sang would have returned today from their honeymoon but Tropical Storm Irene had another plan for them.


  1. I love, love this story, Karen.

  2. Gerrie, Your comment touched me deeply. Thanks!


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