114 little eyes were staring me down.
Last month. My childhood bedroom. I had put upon myself the task of a master excavation of all the debris of growing up. A sorting out the empty nest.
Drawers, built-in bookshelves, hidden nooks. Long forgotten soccer trophies, a hand-written book my grandmother had given me when I was 14, photos photos photos, leagues of books, and hilarious old sweaters. Delving through trash and treasure. Sorting. Some precious keeps, and a lot to dump.
There was a skinny strip of paper in my closet, illustrated with jungle animals. I yanked it. My sister audibly gasped.
“That piece of paper has probably been there for 18 years. And you just ripped it. Gone!”
“Yeah, but I don’t need it anymore.”
I’m ruthless. I’m a thrower-outer, giver-awayer. I do keep some special things, but I’m highly selectively sentimental when it comes to objects.
But those 114 eyes.
There’s no way in hell you will ever part me from my collectible raccoons.
Do I sound like a total nut job?
Despite my penchant for scrapping pieces of the past, I love my raccoon collection. As a kid I grew up with a pet raccoon, and they were my favorite animal, and so the accumulation began. People gave me little raccoon trinkets for birthdays, and Santy almost always sneaked one in the stocking. Oh, here, I picked this up on a trip. I saw this, thought of you, and just had to get it, here you go.
Truthfully, I don’t remember where each little guy came from anymore. Some have been in my care since I was 7 years old. Many have suffered hardship and are missing an ear, a tip of the tail, and one poor woodland friend only has stumps for arms.
I don’t have them in my own home, but I do love seeing them at my parents’ house. They are…
a reminder of my family
and growing up
10 points if you can spot the nod to the raccoon on my website.
See, they’re not just about my past. The raccoon is a powerful symbol for my present.
So I will keep collecting, keep surrounding myself with the image of the raccoon, each interpretation giving new insight into it’s psyche and meaning. The raccoon: It speaks to me. It anchors me to my past. It propels me forward. It comforts. It challenges.
So I’m wondering about you….
What do you collect? And why?
Let me know in the comments.